On hearing lead vocalist, Joe Keong’s succulent tones, dripped over dreamy alternative-rock with a touch of electro sounds here and there, I was completely won over. Opening ‘Insomniac’ with the lyrics, “you remind me of someone I used to know,” brought a smile to my face as there is something very familiar about their sound, even brining to mind the themes to Baywatch and CSI, though that can be easily forgiven as we delve into this second album from Amber Run.
For A Moment I Was Lost is an album that takes the usual ingredients of an alt-rock outfit, heavy guitar solos and earthy drums, but there is something that makes Amber Run stand out from the average band of this genre. Tracks like ‘Fickle Game’ make my spine tingle as the pace slows down just a touch and Keong’s vocal reaches high pitches that are so hauntingly affecting that the listener becomes lost in the moment. ‘Are You Here’ adds a nostalgia with the vinyl scratching soundtrack which could seem a bit too kitsch and cringe worthy, but Amber Run use it to good effect, giving an extra kick to a song that might otherwise sound a little bland.
The majority of the album is very easy going and far from background music but more of a perfect driving down the motorway kind of album with the added cinematic element mid-way through ‘Island.’ Comparisons could be made to Coldplay and Kodaline and whilst that’s certainly very promising in terms of commerciality, perhaps there’s some room for creative growth.
The only thing that seems misplaced in this album is ‘Haze.’ There is a lot of electronic vocalization used on this track and it seems very unnecessary and a bit jarring on an album that otherwise gels almost perfectly. And without pun, the track ‘Perfect’ brings in quite a heavy guitar break that redeems the album, as does ‘Dark Bloom.’
‘ Stranger’ is the song that originally caught my attention. It basically sums up the sound of Amber Run. Classed as alt-rock, their sound is recognizable but this song has that stripped back opening with the guitars and drums slowly creeping in and the vocals of Keong just keep you ingrained in the sound. “Love comes easily” with that “old forgotten treasure,” that Amber Run have managed to capture on For A Moment making it far from a ‘sophomore slump’ of a second album but with a few tweaks here and there by the third album, Amber Run should hopefully find their own unique sound.
For A Moment, I Was Lost is released on 10th February and North East fans can catch the band at Newcastle’s O2 Academy on 16th of the month.
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