Amber Lamps are a three piece pop pun band from New York. Consisting of Brian Greene (guitar/ lead vocals), Eddie James (bass/vocals) and Jenna Noe (drums/vocals), Amber Lamps formed in 2009 as a one-off high-school graduation party cover band but have since evolved into a pop punk power trio. Back in September 2018 (yup, very late to the party), Amber Lamps released a new six track EP named On The Lamb, following up their extremely well received debut Plaidypuss. I may have been late but I was definitely looking forward to checking out On The Lamb.
On The Lamb begins with the song Wanderlust. It's a repetitive and catchy pop punk track with sugary sweet vocals underlined by some frantic buzzsaw guitar. The short snappy way that the vocals are delivered give the song that extra bit of punch and attitude that helps the track to stand out more. It's about not understanding why people want to spend their lives travelling far and wide when sometimes the creature comforts of home are all that you need. Catastrophe took me a little by surprise. The song begins in a very bass heavy fashion and the whole track has more of an alternative rock feel to it. This was quite the switch from the previous pop punk song and I have to admit it took me a little time to really get on board. It's a bit of a slower plodder that lacked a bit in energy but it's one hell of an ear worm and took no time at all to get stuck in my head. The song is about trying to pick up a girl but coming across as a mess. I'm sure that's happened to most of us.
The third track is named Trophy Beer. It's another hard rocking track but this time it really catches you immediately. Everything about the song feels harder and sharper. The end of each line feels as if it has an exclamation point that really puts more ummph into the song. I was super impressed with Greene's vocals during the song, he shows off quite a range. On This Just In, Amber Lamps combine the alternative rock with the buzzsaw pop punk to make the best song on On The Lamb. The tempo is upped and the guitars and drums go off at a Usain Bolt like pace while Greene does a great job keeping up with his vocals. I really loved the energy that spills out of this song. It's one of those tracks that's impossible to stay still to whilst listening. This Just In is about how the media will show you news items that are meant to give them more ratings and views for more money rather than doing honest and fair journalism.
The penultimate song, Sola Catuli, is another that took me by surprise. It's a soft and tender acoustic song that came out of nowhere. It's a sad, sombre song about dealing with a break up when you know you're the reason things ended. This big contrast in styles did feel slightly out of place in this position on the EP but I guess they wanted to end things on a high. They certainly do that on Hindered Spirits. Going back to a more pop punk style but with a huge sound, Hindered Spirits feels like a song you'd find on an American teen movie soundtrack. It shows off some superb musical ability as the band charge through a song that's actually four minutes in length but certainly doesn't feel like it. There are some delightful harmonies littered throughout the song, some really subtle and some that are clear. They all sound great and add that little something extra to make the track a bit more special.
On The Lamb was a much more varied EP that I was initially expecting. It's a definitely a grower that, if you give it time to, will become a big favourite.
Stream and download On The Lamb here: https://amberlampsny.bandcamp.com/album/on-the-lamb
Like Amber Lamps here: http://facebook.com/AmberLampsNY
This review was written by Colin Clark.