"Insider" (SPV; 2006)

Reviewed by Edwin Van Hoof

One of the bands that has been surprising the audience with their live performances the last few years is English noisy rockers Amplifier with their energetic music and performance. Though their debut didn?t manage to capture that vibe and energy, there new CD, ?Insider,? seriously preserves the band's signature!

Amplifier clearly is inflicted with the well-known Brit pop sound that was rooted in the sixties by the Beatles. Amplifier magnifies sounds and emotions. ?Insider? is packed with hard driving guitars that create a grand audacious sound, swollen bass lines and pumping drums, all topped with ear mingling melodies and choirs leaning toward sweetness drenched in philosophy, and a tremendous power! 

One of the finest examples of their twisted minds is the amazing ?Procedures? that starts with a rhythmic rattling typewriter drill slowly woven into a biting riff and groovy foundation. Other great Brit pop influenced tracks are the driving, nearly claustrophobic, title track -- the awesome ?Elysian Gold? and ?Hymn of the Aten? with its staccato playing and progressive beats. The song reminds me of the best Saigon Kick has recorded, slightly going over the top and sugar coated with the Brit pop trademarks. 

Driven groove rockers like the awesome ?Map of an Imaginary Place? or the mighty powerful ?O Fortuna? also share that British rock music sound with its grooves and hammer-hard metal tones from bands like King?s X, Electric Cowboys, Saigon Kick or even Young Gods. And it's all brought to life with a vivid kick from none other than Chris Seldon, who mixed the record (Foo Fighters) and Steve Lyon (The Cure, Depeche Mode) who managed to produce the overall intense and humid driving sound. The field of exploration is wide and diverse, waiting to be devoured.

For people that have an open mind for metal being infected by ?newer? sounds and Brit pop reminiscent noise, make sure to check this out! Even though getting through the entire record the first time is tough, the band will open up more and more with every run this disc takes in your player. There?s just to much to discover.

Amplifier: Sal Balamir ? guitar, vocals; Neil Mahony ? bass, typewriter; Matt Brobin - Drums; 

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright ? 2006 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 20 May 2024 13:38:50 -0400.