|Amplifier — Trippin’ with Dr. Faustus (30 June 2017)|
Amplifier — Trippin’ with Dr. Faustus (30 June 2017) ι•ιι “Trippin With Dr Faustus” is the 6th Amplifier Album.
ι•ιι Specifically designed to coincide with the end of the world. Thank you for flying Amplifier Airways. Enjoy your trip.
ι•ιι “Trippin’ With Dr Faustus is a diverse sonic landscape that reflects how the trends of greed, ego, dominance, fear and seduction have defined society, but apart from the somewhat extravagant premise of the album, and the suggestion of a suspicious hazy pact with the devil, this is an overblown album that is not without it’s charms. The hour long trip with Amplifier and Dr. Faustus is not something that will be for everyone, but for those who like a journey into the dark side of the psyche this is an album that is well worth an hour of your time.” (AJ Phink)Location: Manchester, UK
Album release: 30 June 2017
Formats: CD/mediaboook CD/DL/double gatefold vinyl
Record Label: Rockosmos
The mighty beast:
A1 Rainbow Machine
B1 Kosmos (Grooves Of Triumph)
B2 The Commotion (Big Time Party Maker)
C1 Big Daddy
D3 Old Blue Eyes
ι•ιι Sel Balamir — Guitar/Vocals
ι•ιι Matt Brobin — Drums
ι•ιι Steve Durose — Guitar/Vocals
ι•ιι Magnum — Bass/Vocals
ι•ιι Produced by Sel Balamir
ι•ιι Mixed by Iago Lorenzo
ι•ιι Mastered by Robin Schmidt
Written by Mike Ainscoe. 27 June, 2017 / Score: 9/10
ι•ιι ‘A rock and roll fable by the band Amplifier’ — one that sees their sixth album exploring Faust for the 21st Century with an epic, inspired and diverse collection. Reset your instrument dials, it’s time to fly.
ι•ιι The yellow covered opus with the usual unconventional Amplifier design comes courtesy of their own Rockosmos label. Amplifier are back to the independent way of being, even down to recording on 2” tape with the associated limitations / simplicity of the equipment with the rewards of the sound it brings. Maybe a cause of the lengthy gestation of Trippin’ with Dr. Faustus, its roots in “Silvio”, a track originally from the time of 2011’s The Octopus being the catalyst. Talking of “a contract with Hades — the promise of all the world for just one son,” it epitomises the Faustian world where the desire for power, greed and desire are commonplace yet come at a cost.
ι•ιι Keeping to an irregular path, another older track, “Horse” reappears, like “Silvio”, at the right time but if you’re seeking enlightenment as to the direction the trip is taking, look no further than the opening volley for an experience that skirts dangerously close to the peak of their momentous debut album.
ι•ιι “Kosmos” has already teased the album — maybe the familiarity in playing it on endless loop elevates its colossal magnificence to the status of best track (so far); the accompanying video a compendium of sixties sci fi animated art. It’s a succinct reminder of Amplifier world — or is it AmpCorp Industries — the miasma of musical chaos where their grooves of triumph (on 180gm clear vinyl) struggle to contain their monumental sound. Along with “Rainbow Machine” and the stomping rut of The Commotion it provides a rocket fuelled take off, initially recalling their glory days from 2004 when we were first exposed to one of Manchester’s discoveries.
ι•ιι The English vein of 2014’s Mystoria with its Barrett/Floyd trippiness and lyrical connotations is back too; the opening of Freakzone seeing them become the band The Who could have been. A rip roaring psychedelic tinged heavy rock exploration — the rarefied air evoking an urgency that rolls like the panzer of their first record — “don’t matter which way we’re facing, as long as we’re rolling forward.” Overwhelmingly guilty your honour, of delivering the Amplifier twin calling cards — crushing riffs and lyrical sentiments that “go beyond space/time and the limitations of ones, zeros and polycarbonate manufacturing.”
ι•ιι How much more challenging is it to swim against the tide — easy is boring — and it sees the fantastically named Beth Zeppelin bringing an added texture to Big Daddy in particular. Emerging from a chance meeting, she proves there’s no need for map nor compass, this is an uncharted yet exhilarating journey. One that dips into an acoustic diversion with the hypnotic picking on Anubis at the other end of the spectrum to the devastating opening yet all adding to the Faustian flight.
ι•ιι “Who doesn’t want to make a record about our relationship with The Devil. The ultimate baddy.” The Devil and a fuzz guitar may be strange bedfellows but make for a dizzy combination to provide the standard for space rock for the future. Not trippy intergalactic bleeps and soundscapes but great lumps of asteroid hurtling through the void carrying an underlying message — Be careful what you wish for. But by jove, you can see why taking a trip with Dr Faustus is so tempting.
ι•ιι “Gekonnt spielt das Quartett um Sänger, Gitarrist, Produzent und Artwork~Künstler Sel Balamir mit Pink Floyd’schen Farbmotiven vor dem Hintergrund an The Who gemahnenden, windmühlenschlagenden Rock~Oper~Grandezza, lässt in seinen dramatisch effektiven und zum Gros üppig angelegten Kompositionen fesselndes Songwriting nicht aus dem Auge, und seine Musikalität nie zum narzisstischen Selbstzweck verkommen. Dass darüber hinaus auch noch solch abgefahrene Bastarde herauskommen wie etwa ‘The Commotion (Big Time Party Maker)’, das Roxy Music, Bowie und Kula Shaker zusammen in den Mixer packt, schadet keineswegs.” (30. Juni 2017 von Frank Thießies)
|Amplifier — Trippin’ with Dr. Faustus (30 June 2017)|