Amber Pacific is another one of those, family friendly, pop/emo bands, that seem to be swarming upon the scene like locusts these days. Much in the same vein as Mtv mainstays, Yellow Card and Cartel, the group incorporates modern rock elements with the sad sappy teen angst filled lyricism that makes a grown man want to murder.
Formed originally with the name, Follow Through, in 2002 while the members were high school juniors, Amber Pacific have been kind of cruising along the warped tour circuit as second stage acts since 2004. Playing the venerable summer jam fest in successive years they are finally starting to get some respect and attention being asked to change from, playing spots to playing the entire festival, this new found glory (haha get it) is mainly because their newest record and the subject of this review, “Truth In Sincerity”, hit the billboard charts for the bands first trip to the middle, peaking at #66.
This is a band that is literally on the brink of making their name a little less forgettable. With fellow emo/rockers Yellowcard and Sum41 releasing new albums this year it can’t help to try and introduce a newbie to the world. So don’t think you won’t soon hear about them nonstop throughout the country. Weather it be from Top 40 radio, TRL, MtvU, Nickelodian and Video Game/Tv Spots or whatever crazy way labels are getting their artists music heard these days.
Amber Pacific’s music and their problem can be summed up in one simple way, by just listening to the first 2 tracks of the album, The group has desire to be epic, however they are not and that’s something they will have to soon accept. The libretto and lyricism, just does not measure up to the best part about the band which is the constant bombardment of incredible instrumental. So what you have, cut down the middle is this…an Emo/Pop band trying to be epic, using just terribly boring subject matter. On the other side, you have an incredibly powerful music force driven by the superb Guitar and Drum combo of Will Nutter and Dango.
One of the highlights of the album is its latest single, “Fall Back into My Life” probably the strongest vocal performance on the album, is your typical…We were young and dumb, I made a mistake, and would do anything to get you back, track. (What kind of industry are we living where a complex storyline like that becomes a run of the mill thing?) It is undoubtedly ear candy, and serves itself well being released as a single, designed to infest the ipod of every 13 year old rebellious teeny bopper. It just sounds musically so good, no matter how boring it is, it stands out.
We picked out one highlight, now onto the next one right? It is a hard thing to do when every single song sounds exactly the same as the last. The only compliment I can gave is that, throughout the album, there starting to sound more and more like a multiple platinum recording artist (except it isn’t them)… Simple Plan.
In one of the songs on the record “Take me from this place”, Matt Young sings, “I have nothing in this heart at all, this life seems meaningless” that statement doesn’t sound far off of what I think about this album, it seems meaningless. The lyrics express they have heart…however the majority of it seems kind of like produced pre-arranged, puppy love. Nothing about this album is personal at all, though they’d want you to think it’s deeply unique, nothing about the album is awe inspiring, in fact it is just the same record that has made careers for bands like Simple Plan and Yellowcard, reproduced and rearranged a few times.
The Bottom Line: Eh, listen to a few tracks over at their myspace and decide whether you’d like to invest in a band that in short time will be making millions on the backs of your little sisters schoolmates. If your heading to the Warped Tour this year, steer clear, with the lineup they have this year…your time would be better served rehabbing your broken bones waiting for the next act. The group has an impressive musical sound however the vocals just plan out suck and kill the passion and the grandeur that permeates from the superb plucking and drumming of its non singing band members. Drop the singer, find a life…preferably your own, experience it, write about it, and we got something interesting.
01. Rule #76
02. Summer (In B)
04. You’re Only Young Once
05. Living Proof
06. Follow Your Dreams, Forget The Scene
07. Take Me From This Place
08. Fall Back Into My Life
09. We Think We’re Hardcore, Cause Well, We Are
10. Runaway (Featuring Mike Herrera Of MXPX)
11. Watching Over Me
12. Dear ____, This Has Always Been About Standing Up For Yourself…