Hardworking Vernon folk-rock quintet Amistad’s new EP release displays an upsurge in solid material that mixes blunt-edged rock with melodic acoustic textures.
The youthful indie band’s snappy Kelowna recording treads an ambitious path that’s headed down a similar direction taken by British/American roots rock/folk groups, Dry the River and The Lumineers.
Polaroid wings the album in with ringing, sensitive sounds that soon head into brash territory. The song hints at the alternative-folk vibe that lights up the next song, My Eyes and I.
This track, the centerpiece of the EP, is akin to English folk-rock sounds and unites propulsive rhythm, galloping beats and wailing guitars. It taps into a mood that’s raucous and introspective and smashes nicely into Psyche, a driving, acoustic-based chant tune that ratchets up some high mph before it reluctantly resolves itself.
The rock side of the band (Aidan Andrews (lead vox, guitar), Carson Bassett (drums, ukulele, guitar),Nolan Bassett (bass,vox), Brent Matterson (lead guitar)and Craig Matterson (guitar, keys, vox) rears itself up on Lindeman.
This track revels in a snotty, post-punk vibe. Just crank up the cowbell and Big Muff along with the whammy squeals. It roars along with a rough shot of garage rock bite and bile until the band’s penchant for breakdowns threatens to derail it but doesn’t, as they climb back into the fray on the force of volume and drive.
The group displays an instinct for layering sounds and textures for ambiance and atmosphere and digs into alternate passages for dynamics and space.
It broadens their context into band unity and an evolving sonic personality that’s happily blasting through folk and rock.
Amistad holds its EP release party/concert Friday, June 14 at 7 p.m. at Powerhouse Theatre. Opening is local up-and-coming act Siesta Motel. Tickets are $5 at the door, Bean Scene and Wentworth Music.
— Dean Gordon-Smith is a Vernon-based musician and freelance writer who reviews new releases for The Morning Star.