Amplifier - Trippin' With Dr Faustus - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Amplifier - Trippin' With Dr Faustus

by D R Pautsch Rating:7 Release Date:2017-06-30

Prog Rock gets a bad rap really.  I mean who doesn’t like long songs, overly thoughtful lyrics and lots of self-indulgent noodling on guitar or keyboards in the middle of a song that try to make the whole thing sound like a hyperspace journey?

Amplifier are classed as prog and you can certainly hear why when listening to their sixth album Trippin’ With Dr Faustus, hell the album title itself screams WE ARE PROG louder than any amount of screaming guitar feedback could.  Hailing from Manchester this band could not be further from the normal Mancunian band with their nods to Deep Purple, Black Sabbath and many others.  They enjoy the slow build of a song and the crashing guitar solos that generally pop up everywhere that prog does.  They enjoy the almost majestical approach to guitar riffs that only belongs in this genre.

The gentle rocking forward and backward of Commotion (Big Time Party Maker) slowly pulses into life and then gradually builds towards the almost inevitable guitar solo.   It is the sound of a likable slumbering giant waking and gradually taking form.  The lyrics belie the intention.  The band set out to put a more positive spin on this record but it comes off as a slightly dour affair.  Big Daddy is the exception where the refrain ‘can you hear me daddy’ is repeated often enough to drum its way solidly into your mind long after the song has finished the relatively short five minutes.  It benefits from the counterpoint vocals of Beth Zeppelin and is an almost crossover number.  The acoustic Anubis is a welcome break from the crashing guitars and drums on offer elsewhere.  Sinatra would be running as far away from the closing Old Blue Eyes as he possibly could.  The final guitar maelstrom is moving into noise territory rather than the rest of what is on offer here.  Freakzone almost descends into an indie breezy number with its keys and light touch in the breakdown.  It’s at moments like that this album comes into its own as it switches the genre up and sounds refreshing and new.

Trippin’ with Dr Faustus is a rockingly long prog album that adds little new to the genre but does have moments where it drags you kicking and screaming to attention. 

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