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Amps For Christ / Woods by Amps For Christ / Woods
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8/10 Clinton 12 April 2012

Shrimper! I remember you. The label that in the mid 90's brought you lo fidelity efforts from Lou Barlow, Mountain Goats, Refridgerator, is still going strong and busying itself marrying hot properties Woods with old school strummers Amps for Christ. In fact this is Amps For Christ's first new material in 10 years and Woods first new stuff this year. Its easy to see why the label has put these two groups together. Both have the strummy lo-fi approach to 60's style beat pop. Woods opens with a typical rustic strum followed by an ethnic Indian George Harrison experimental raga before something that sounds uncannily like 'Cups and Cakes' era Spinal Tap. I've never quite fully 'got' Woods, they are similar to, but not anywhere near in the same league songwriting wise as the kind of 60's speckled combo's the seem to emulate (hints of XTC, Sex Clark 5, Guided By Voices and Brian Jonestown Massacre at various points throughout).  Still its nice stuff with a little more of an experimental edge than what I've heard before. Amps for Christ (featuring a Man is the are a much more experimental outfit yet their tracks shine with the same lo fidelity glow. Their songs have a much more folky edge particularly 'Lord Bateman' with a lo-fi take on the likes of Fotheringay's 70's re-works of folk tunes all the while fiddly guitars wail away in the background. There's a bit of messing around with sitars and the odd experimental interlude to produce an album that mirrors the messy, all over the place charm of those Shrimper tapes I used to listen to back in the day.



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