"Amps II Eleven" (Smog Veil)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

Amps II Eleven's self-titled debut is a fine example of rock'n'roll stripped down to its very roots. Wait. I take that back. It's a fine example of rock'n'roll stripped beyond its very roots. It's rock'n'roll stripped down until their nothing left but painfully raw, impossibly simple, and barely syncopated noise.

It's kinda cool.

With guitars that are over-modulated to the point that they often blur out any other sound behind them and a vocalist who sounds like a cross between Joey Ramone and some kind of mountain lion, Amps II Eleven simply rocks through its 12 tracks, never taking the time nor apparently the effort to change anything like tempo, tone or attitude. Each song is virtually the same as the last. The good news is that, with a total running time of just under 35 minutes, there's never any time to get bored. The bad news is that, if you don't like this type of stripped down punk in the first place, there's nothing on "Amps II Eleven" that's going to grab your attention.

Still, the band's charisma and love of rock are almost enough to make you overlook the fact that they basically play the same song over and over again ... and that's at least something.

Amps II Eleven: Matt Wroth - vox; Attila Csapo - guitar; Aaron Dowell - guitar; Dr. Callahan - drums; Tony Erba - bass.

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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 2004 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 02 Oct 2023 21:56:12 -0400.