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- Grave Goods by I Am Ampersand
8/10 Clinton Staff review, 23 November 2012
We had a single in recently by I am Ampersand (the new name for the guy who was one half of Fujiya & Miyagi) which flew out at a rate of knots. The single was rather good and I remember it cheering us all up on what was a rather bleak day. The album is not hitting me in the same way, I have to say. Opener ‘Lights and Radios’ veers through several different sections, none of which truly sting, sounding somewhere between Clinic, Beta Band and Gomez.
The latter influence is carried into track two. I don’t mean this as a put-down at all, I mean Gomez aren’t all that bad, probably are seen as unpopular as they seem to do completely fine without any help at all from the music press. But by god it sounds like Gomez...playing Canned Heat’s ‘On the Road Again’, ‘Minus Sign’ was the B side of the single, a really excellent song, I loved it then and I love it now, just great acoustic pop with strong memorable melodies and if the album was full of these that would make me a rather happy bunny.Other highlights are the krauty ‘Holding the Negative up to the Light’ (also on the single) the remainder of B side tracks flit between home-fi acoustic pop with added synth and Beatles inflected melodies as on ‘Stay’ and ‘Doom and Gloom’ which adds some much needed oomph with its odd layers of vocal and brings to mind Simian, a band which everyone loved for a little while back in the day before they hit success by becoming a Mobile Disco. Don’t get me wrong, there are some good moments on this record and it is sure appeal to fans of the early Beta Band and Tunng, the best ones though were either on the aforementioned single or come right at the end of the record. Limited to 500 copies.
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