Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
This New York-based quartet makes swoony, atmospheric, layered rock that's primarily interested in guitar-based interplay and subtle dynamics. Their pleasant tunes have supple melodies, a solid Velvets-derived groove, and ... more »
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This New York-based quartet makes swoony, atmospheric, layered rock that's primarily interested in guitar-based interplay and subtle dynamics. Their pleasant tunes have supple melodies, a solid Velvets-derived groove, and pretty yet weathered vocals that occasionally sound like Sam Prekop from The Sea and Cake. They have too much cojones, not to mention vaguely bluesy chops, to be considered third-generation "shoegazers." Ambulance Ltd. do what any decent indie-rock band does on their first album (see Stereolab, Built to Spill, Luna): they play around with their influences, mixing, matching, and seeing what sounds best. This album is like watching a bunch of kids going crazy trying on fancy clothes at the department store, as they gleefully mix and match the Lilys, the Kinks, Versus, the Stones, and Apples in Stereo. This is not meant as disparagement; there's a real joy in watching a band come into its own. It's a safe bet Ambulance Ltd. will already be there by the time you read this. --Mike McGonigal
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High Expectations For Ambulance Ltd
Gavin B. | St. Louis MO | 06/10/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The Brooklyn based Ambulance Ltd. is the current band of the moment in the Big Apple and I caught their act at Rothko's on Suffolk St. recently. Like their NYC predecessors, Ambulance plays well crafted pop music with the studied cool and irony that has defined quintessential New York rock and roll, since the rise of the Velvets in the mid-1960s. Their swirling, shimmering guitar dialog recalls that of Kevin Shields whose exquisite use of guitar distortion became the trademark sound of My Bloody Valentine in the 1990s. It would not be accurate, however, to place Ambulance in the legion of shoegazing bands that My Bloody Valentine spawned in the mid 1990s. The drum and bass section of Ambulance is far too muscular to allow the guitars to drift into the transcendental figure eight circular guitar crossfire patterns that My Bloody Valentine used so effectively to mezmerize their audiences. There is a motherlode of well calculated hooks that draw the listener in, but Ambulance, like their hometown peers the Strokes, stay far enough left of center on the artistic Bell Curve to avoid sell-out backlash from bohemian critics. What Ambulance lacks is the well defined line-of-sight that bands, like the Strokes have crafted into an artistic vision. This will emerge as Ambulance Ltd. gains experience as a performing unit. Ambulance will have the inevitable rendezvous with destiny and this talented band will soon be under contract to a major record label, barring any number of unforseen disasters that confront an embryonic rock band. Ambulance has all the earmarks of the rare pedigree of a great rock bands, but greater bands have stumbled for lack of artistic direction. It's...uh, like...the vision thing, ya know? In all fairness to Ambulance, I confess that their CD is among my favorite releases, in an otherwise moribund year (2004) for "alternative" or independent music releases. I struggled mightly over giving "Ambulance Ltd" a 4 or 5 star rating and when I realized this band is probably capable of eclipsing the music of this first release with their next album, I gave it 4 stars. My illogical logic is based upon my unreasonably high expectations Ambulance Ltd's future, and in the best of all worlds, I could give it the 4.8 stars it deserves. Finally I notice a couple of negative reviewers insinuated that those who write a positive review of this album are probably associated with the band. For them, here's my personal statement of disclosure (Journalism 101): I have am not and have never been associated with Ambulance or their record label, either in a business or personal relationship."
alexander laurence | Los Angeles, CA | 05/11/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Ambulance Ltd. is the latest New York band that I have seen that has some promise. I saw them in their early days, and they have become a greater band over time. They are also one of the best looking bands I have seen. They had to kick one member out because he wasn't cutting the mustard. They take all their hard rock influences and make this new hybrid of music. They came out with an EP a while ago. This showed that they had some good songs. After tours with Placebo and Suede, Ambulance Ltd. have improved to become a major league band. They are already well known in Europe. Their instrumental that begins the album "Yoga Means Union" goes in five different directions at once. "Primitive" is a soft rock song that builds and builds into a big chorus. "Anecdote" and "Heavy Lifting" are more folky and jazzy. The voice of Marcus Congleton sounds especially unique. They do a cover of "Ocean" by The Velvet Underground, which is appropriate. "Sugar Pill" is overall the best song. It's a smooth and quiet funk vibe. For a New York band they sound the opposite of some slick garage rock band. Ambulance Ltd. are the sound of the sophisticated music of the future. Some bands are trying to be different so they stand out, and they are trying too hard. I feel that Ambulance Ltd. is being themselves entirely. They are more "right now" then any band."
Buy it... you'll be amazed
dave_from_chicago | chicago | 06/19/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I saw these guys play "Heavy Lifting" on Conan and was blown away. I bought the cd the next day and continue to return to it almost daily. This is a massively underrated cd with some of the most unique, original songs I've heard in a long time. If you're looking for something similar to Velvet Underground, the Beatles, or even the Pixies (their slower songs), you will love this album. The entire album is easy to listen to and I found no song on it that could be labeled as filler. Standout tracks for me are: tracks 1-7 and the strong closer "Young Urban," though all tracks are above average. Don't let this cd get lost among the mountains of crap circulating out there. Pick it up... you'll be impressed."