Since their debut release ‘Soundtrack Of Your Life’ came out at the start of 2011, the boys of Amberline have been very busy. Their schedule has been filled with highlights such as a sold out Camden Barfly and festival spots at Defest, Step Up Festival and 100% Bitchfest. Their hard-hitting, high-energy live shows have even led to support slots with bands such as Attack! Attack!, Kids Can’t Fly, and Lost Boys. Now they have surely cemented their status as one of UK’s most promising young bands with their second EP ‘The Art Of Reinvention’.
Full credit to Amberline, they have managed to do something not many bands I’ve reviewed have; they surprised me. So many bands out there in the ether claim to be pop-punk and more; usually this ‘and more’, if it even exists, it’s only there because they band haven’t figured out how to get that full pop-punk sound yet. This isn’t the case with Amberline. Through The Art of Reinvention they craft a sound that really delivers true pop-punk highs, largely thanks to the soft vocals of lead singer Mark Steggall, but also brings out heavy instrumental elements, with sweet riffs and breakdowns aplenty.
You can often be found listening to a song and thinking “that shouldn’t work”, but knowing as you sing along that it really does. This is what second, and outstanding track, on the EP ‘The Lost and Hopeless’ does with ease. It lures you in with a gentle riff before the two guitarists really kick into gear along with an intense drum beat. The chorus with its love fuelled lyrics will be great for crowds to sing-along to, joining Mark in emotionally singing “I feel so lost and hopeless, and I need someone for closeness”. It even finishes on a hell of a strong note with a harmonious guitar solo leading into a final emotive rendition of the chorus.
Other highlights include the amusing ‘I’m Not a Grower, I’m a Show-er’, reminiscent of Blink-182. As well as bringing many more riffs to the proverbial table, this track includes a pop-punk staple of gang chanted vocals, with the band joining Mark in singing: “Fuck YOU! Your threats are overrated; we will defend all of our friends”. With more energy and humour this is true to the pop-punk of the nineties and is a great addition to the EP.
As a complete package The Art of Reinvention is well-rounded, instrumentally diverse and spilling over with catchy pop-punk hooks. It’s a solid release by the Guildford band, showcasing their obvious potential. It may not be the whole future of the genre but it’s a welcome addition to the fold and is well worth a listen, so what are you waiting for? The Art of Reinvention is out on iTunes from 30 September.
4 out of 5 high fives!