THE AMAZING – Gentle Stream (Subliminal Sounds)

This is the Swedish psychsters second full length album, and having been blown away by their debut it was a no-brainer to grab this one. The title track opens with a guitar sound that harks back to late 60’s West Coast bands like Quicksilver and the Dead, and if you don’t know who they are, then firstly shame on you, and secondly this album might not be for you. If, however, you still have a soft spot or late 60’s psyche then The Amazing bring it smack up to date but without losing that essence that made that music so great in the first place. The song itself is a superb psychedelic rocker, and I am so pleased that they have stuck to the sound of their debut and not tried to drag themselves into the 21st century. ‘Flashlight’ is even mellower, and drifts along dreamily towards the sublime sax solo at the end. ‘International Hair’ is all acoustic guitars and harmony vocals to start with, before some great psyche guitar makes an appearance and winds down the song with a delicate solo. ‘The Fog’ is more of the same, but with a more robust guitar sound, and by now you will have an idea of what the band are about – melancholic, psyche-tinged indie rock. ‘Gone’ has been chosen as the lead single from the album, and while it is not really representative of the record as a whole it is one of the more commercial tracks, so I suppose I can see why it was picked. The vocal harmonies are more upfront, and the chorus sticks in your mind, but to me it works better in the context of the album, as a bridge between the melancholic moodiness of ‘The Fog’ and the hard riffing of ‘Dogs’. This latter shows that the band can play hard if they want to, with the insistent riff acting as the backbone of the song, before it veers off into a psychedelic guitar freakout. ‘Assumptions’ is a beautiful piece of dream-pop which is over way too soon, and before you know it we are at the last track ‘When The Colours Change’. This is laid-back psyche-rock at its best, with a languid vocal that fits the music perfectly, and acid guitar licks scattered throughout the song. If you are au fait with Swedish rock then you might be interested to know that the band include a couple of members of Dungen, although their alternative folk sound is nowhere to be heard on here. Instead we get a reverential tribute to the classic psychedelic rock sound of the US West Coast of the late 60’s, and I for one am all for hearing that.


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