Febraury 02nd, 2011
Amplifier - The Octopus

Review by Dan Collacott
Mancunian alt-rock three piece Amplifier have not exactly been prolific since their 2004 debut; apart from a few EPs we have had to wait nearly four years for the albums that have followed. But good things come to those whose wait and thankfully third full studio record 'The Octopus' is a giant of an album, two hours of music on 2CDs, spanning across 16 tenticular (is that a even a word?) tracks! In the past the trio have gone into Bowie-esque sci-fi territory (The Astronaut Dismantles HAL) and yet with this album they have dived into more spiritual and psychedelic waters (check out the video to 'The Wave' below).

Of course vocalist Sel Balamir and co don't like to make their music anything any other than a interesting and often challenging experience and this epic prog-rock release is no different. But if you wade through some of the slightly turgid instrumental pieces on offer here you will find incredible tunes like single 'The Wave,' the Muse-like 'Minion's Song' and excellent title track 'The Octopus.'

The album is littered with tracks that combine big riffs, keyboards, and even string sections to great effect. Throw in Balamir's soothing vocals, some haunting melodies and there is enough here to daub a squid load of musical ink over your senses. Ok so, sometimes the music feels a little indulgent in places, but largely this album still successfully delivers its intended alt rock payload.  Of course fans of Oceansize and Porcupine Tree will no doubt already be familiar with Amplifier's big, bold and complex style of music.

Amplifier are and always have been a band who demand and deserve your time and your patience.

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