The Amends – What We Could Be Album Review
The second full-length release from this talented band out of the Denver/Boulder area delivers big. It’s a strong album offering a nice meshing of modern Indie Rock with a tasteful mixture of 70’s classic rock. These guys pull it off nicely in a diverse offering with a little bit of everything. If they weren’t already on your new music radar, they damn well should be. The Amends unabashedly claim they “just want to be your 11th Favorite Band.” With this release, they just might be on track.
The quartet first caught my attention a few years ago with the addictive “Dance” off of their eponymous debut album. In What We Could Be, we see the band offering similar songs, as well as displaying a more robust sound. At times, I found myself thinking of 60’s Souk, classic 70’s British Rock, 80’s Southern Rock and 80’s Alt-Rock – a bit schizophrenic for sure, but it works.
This is not subtle dinner music, but rather hard driving rock best served over cranking headphones or blasting speakers. It’s true guitar rock with every song offering up a different twist on the band’s powerful creative guitar playing.
I found that the best tracks had a more modern Indie rock feel to them. “A Certain Speed” is a rollicking ride powered by hard driving drums and energetic guitars that evokes memories of The Black Keys. It’s a blast to listen to and a great driving song. The introspective “More To Give” was my favorite track. It’s guided by a sweet piano hook and tender vocals from Drew Weikart. The song is a potential hit with great hopeful lyrics guaranteed to hook you in.
“Second Take” is a soulful rocker with gritty vocals. It’s one of many songs with superb guitar and nice solos. On this one, the guitars ebb and flow nicely before screaming home with a breakneck closing. Tyler Taylor and Weikart are masterful on this one, and throughout the entire album. “Make It So,” is cool garage stomp where a stand out bass line dominates the song coupled nicely with interesting and addictive lyrics.
“It’d Be Nice” offers a nice Southern rock vibe with a killer groove and excellent vocals. This one reminds me of another strong 2013 offering, The Delta Saints’ Death Letter Jubilee. It also conjures up memories of old school Doors and Aerosmith. Another catchy offering is “Dreamer,” a show case for Weikart and an excellent song with a smooth summertime vibe and a fun surf rock feel to it.
The album offers a few slower songs and a couple of jams and they work with mixed results. The best of the slower songs is the tender “When She’s Gone,” a piano driven ballad with nice harmonies. “Desperate Times” is another choice offering that has a swanky slowed down beat and addictive vocals. It’s one of those tunes that seems likely not to be a smash hit on the radio, but one that will become a timeless classic for fans of the band.
There are a few uninspiring songs on the album, but the great majority are strong offerings well worth a listen. Check out the album below and remember to crank it to 11, I think you’ll like what you hear. You can pick it up on the band’s official site for a ridiculously cheap $5.00!