Amplifier - The Octopus
Phew. It's no easy task to review an album that's over two hours long. Part of the problem is length, but in the case of Amplifier's The Octopus, there's a larger concern: this album has sprung from the loins of mid-90s radio rock like Soundgarden, Tool or Nine Inch Nails, but possesses none of the verve or musicality that made those bands great.
I may be wrong, but I am fairly sure that while we have nostalgic memories of those bands, no one's particularly sad that this particular brand of American cock-rock has come and gone (even though the boys of Amplifier are British).
That said, it is a two hour album, and there a couple of tracks that stand out from the rest, by virtue of turning down the distortion and spending more time on rhythm and melody. 'Trading Dark Matter on the Stock Exchange', while not perfect, seems to come a lot closer to the Pink Floyd sound that the band appears to strive for. 'White Horses at Sea' is also a pleasant change of pace, a track where they're ripping off a different band, Silverchair.
If I were to be kind, I would say it's retro. But if I were honest, it's dated. It's not rock enough for rock fans, it's not experimental enough for prog fans. It's exactly what you'd hear on alternative radio in 1995. If you like that sound, than this album is for you. If not, you might just be frustrated.