The Amazing: The Amazing

~ Monday, 28 September 2009
Calling yourself The Amazing could be taken as either a dangerous folly or a statement of intent, but you don't get the feeling that these guys saw it that way when they chose their moniker. The Swedish outfits music harks back to the heady days of Woodstock. A blend of Byrds style jangly guitars and Stephen Stills blues infused country rock all topped off with a big dollop of (pre Woodstock) Country Joe and The Fish.

Released on the Swedish imprint Subliminal Sounds, the home of Lisa O Piu and Dungen, a label that is known for its love of psychedelia and that is exactly what we get here. Opener The Kirwan Song, a tribute to one time Fleetwood Mac guitarist Danny Kirwan, is an extended folk rock workout with a very English feel. I'm sure Kirwan would approve. I have to say that it is on the more stripped down acoustic based numbers that the band really come into their own. Beach House and Is It Likely are gloriously summer tinged and transport you to California's highway one, cruising in a Ford Mustang with the hood down.

This is an album that is hard not to like, mainly because it has a certain familiarity to it. From the Hawkwindesque Code II to the Moby Grape sounding Deportation Day and with more than a whiff of Thunderclap Newman's Something In The Air about it, Dead.

The best as they say, is saved to last with the epic Had To Keep Walking and wistful acoustic The Strangest Thing. The former, at 11 mins long, is a throwback to Neil Young in his finest alt-country mode while the latter, the shortest track on the album, is just acoustic guitar and vocals, and simply beautiful.

If you are looking for the perfect accompaniment to the end of summer, then this album just could be it.

[][][][] (4/5)