A horrible hack

the Amistad

Kept Under By a Generation of Ghosts

Year Released: 2010
Format: CD
Label: Bombed Out Records
Reviewed by Ian Carter on Apr 13, 2010
The arrival of this CD in my letterbox couldnít have been timed better, spring has seemingly jumped up to say hello and The Amistad are providing a great soundtrack (donít worry, its out on vinyl as well.)

The Amistad hail from Sheffield, which will become fairly noticeable as soon as this album starts to spin (no faux American accents here). Some of you may well recognize the band from their previous incarnation as Four Dumb Kids, and this pretty much leaves off where that band finished ; Their brand of gruff pop/punk brings to mind bands like Leatherface, Latterman and Dillinger Four (although with a distinct UK twist ).

Even though this sound has been done to death, they pull it off well thanks to a group of songs that are pretty varied in pace and feel. The best example of this is the sparse, haunting acoustics of ďAn Unobscured view....Ē that suddenly jumps into the catchy and pace ridden ďSo This is Where The Fun Times End...Ē which incidentally has one of the best opening lyrics Iíve heard in a long time. The ebb and flow of this album makes it a real pleasure to listen to - make no mistake, this is a well crafted album, not just a collection of songs thrown onto a CD as seems to be the trend these days.

Throughout these songs there are some great vocal and instrumental breaks, these prevent the songs falling into mid paced mediocrity and add some real drive and urgency that translates into the urge to dance around like a loon. Add this to some utterly infectious lyrics and youíve got something pretty special indeed.

Vocally is where this album shines, with some great melodies that are accompanied by some dry humour, stark honesty and a pinch of politicism. It is also the vocals that mark the most noticeable change from their previous releases, with the backing vocals providing some great harmonies. This adds to the accessibility of the tracks and helps to give these guys an identity beyond the hordes of bands shouting their way through Leatherface rip offs. There is a slight absence of truly memorable riffs here, but this a pretty small complaint given the standard of the songwriting on display. My other complaint is the ridiculously long song names, which is mainly because I canít be bothered to type them out and use up precious words!

If youíre a fan of gruff, honest punk rock then you can do a lot worse than pick this album up. If youíre a bit unsure then Iíd thoroughly recommend checking out the split with Above Them that came out on Disillusioned last year.
Recommended record by Collective Zine!

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