Review of Her Mouth Is An Outlaw [12k1049]

Forest Gospel (US)

Remember when Godspeed You Black Emperor! was absolutely the best band in the world and Mogwai still sounded fresh and vibrant? Mmm, yeah, those were some good times. And then remember when Explosions In The Sky briefly resurrected that good old climax heavy instrumentalism and the stars aligned again? Seems like ages since I last remember being excited about some good old fashioned instrumental post rock. Sure, there have been other notables along the way, but I’m talkin’ the transportative, hinging on religious euphoria type stuff. I guess it is pretty obvious why the whole thing fell apart – eventually the excitement of those upward building processions became stale and predictable. I mean, how many times can you rewrite the same exact chord progression culminating with the same exact climax while remaining emotive? Apparently, for only a couple full length albums. It doesn’t mean I don’t miss it though or love revisiting those old classics. However, it is fairly obvious that instrumental post rock needed a savior. You’ll notice the past tense of that last sentence. Enter: Amplifier Machine. Can I say “wow?” I mean whoa; this is some powerful, transportative, higher-level type stuff. Amplifier Machine’s debut album, Her Mouth Is An Outlaw, feels like the missing step in the evolution from Explosions In the Sky to Eluvium, bridging the gap from the structure of post rock to the improvisational space of atmospheric drone. Amplifier Machine maintains a strong skeletal structure but makes space for plenty of inspired deviations from its players, creating some of the most gorgeous ear candy I think I have heard in a long, long time. In addition, on Her Mouth Is An Outlaw, the structure doesn’t perpetually lead to a raucous climax. The album flows beautifully as a whole, slowly snaking along and forging its own unique peaks and valleys in an original, but oddly familiar way. Her Mouth Is An Outlaw is an utterly serendipitous gem of expansive beauty compounded into a tiny plastic disc. I know I have the tendency to get really excited about new music, often overly so, but to overlook this album is to truly miss one of the most amazing things to come out all year – right up there with The Fun Years and Gang Gang Dance. Translation: listen to this album! -Mr. Thistle

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