Every human at some point experiences love to some degree. At its best, love – whether from a parent or child or a partner – love can give you purpose. It can make you feel more complete and can make life worth living. At the same time, it can totally tear you apart and destroy you.
That clash and balance is what Amber Run investigate with this ten-track record, Philophobia. Creating music that rivals The Killers and culminates a Peaky Blinders OST, Amber Run are an Indie band that understand how to make commercially successful music.
Yet while that aversion is the central focus the new record from the Nottingham trio – consisting of lead vocalist Joe Keogh, bassist Tom Sperring and keyboardist Henry Wyeth – the tracks also consider the nature of love and feelings in the different facets, as it is investigative at the crux.
Philophobia is just over half an hour of reflective and comtemplative tracks about love and the effects it can have on a person. Using the classic guitar, vocals, drums structure, the band come at it from different angles, with an alternative indie sound I feel I have heard many times over.
The LP was recorded at Vale Studios in Fladbury by the band’s longtime collaborator and producer Ben Allen and mixed by Claudius Mittendor (Weezer, Panic! At The Disco, Interpol). Sensing elements of Keane, The Editors and The Killers within the record, the production and mixing makes sense. With much of it sounding very similar, with seemingly a three-chord structure, the album fits nothing more than background noise, with the exception being Entertainment, and perhaps, Carousel. Once the riff hits, then we soon amalgamate into the rest with the latter. Entertainment, however, is a drum-heavy track with synth integrated to give it the edge.
Clearly technically they are nailing it, Amber Run are successful at creating music that will appeal to the Indie crowd, however offering a throwback to decades past simultaneously. Much of their themes, however interesting, are lost amongst these sounds, and it just does not hit the right chord for me. I keep looking for that something else that will propel them from their predeccesors.
Philophobia is out on 27th September.