The 69 of 2014
amber gris – across the blow
In 2014, amber gris followed up their maxi single release with a mini album, across the blow. This is a release consisting of six songs, each packed with the distinctive atmosphere amber gris boast—though listeners familiar with this band may be surprised by the style thy have chosen to experiment with in across the blow.
The mini album begins with the unusual opener, “different of stain.” The song starts with a striking storming of instruments proceeded by a melodious note in the contrast of temari’s clean vocals. The alternation of strong versus mellow continues throughout the number, escalating with the layered vocals.
The next song, “Circus ga tsureteyuku,” starts with jazzy bass and a unique guitar sound with marching drums that evoke the ambiance of a circus, a theme further encouraged in the lyrics. Even so, there is an overall aspect of melancholy to the tune. On the other hand, playfulness may be a good word to describe “Fuzoroi no cutlery” which features an intoxicating guitar intro to lure listeners in. The fun is in the winding, distorted guitars that can be heard throughout the song yet temari utilizes a sensual tone which would not have been applied to his vocals in the past, putting the final touch on this addictive music.
While the previous two numbers were written by wayne, next come the gentler, cleaner stylings of kaname, complete with catchy melodies. Distributed via iTunes previous to this release, “from mouth” is the representative song of this album with a music video to promote it. It’s a good show of amber gris’ newest style, expressing the new while retaining the old in its foundations. It starts with clean guitar arpeggios but that calm is lost in the gradually rising speed as the main melody flows dramatically. Even so, amber gris’ main virtue is in their ballads and “The sad things” stills the mini album with a its opening guitar. Completing the wistful tone, temari’s lengthened vocals give a strong impression as the instruments quietly play in the background.
The final track may be surprising to fans of amber gris as “alone≠” rushes in with massive energy of speeding drums and guitars. Though that stormy introduction kicks things off unexpectedly, the main portion of the song is comprised of melodious sections that link through to the primary melody in which those rushing instruments revive. The challenging repetition of that contract develops throughout the number, making it a heavy and satisfying conclusion to the release.
While they continue to pursue a specific basic style, amber gris’ passion to experiment can be felt in these songs. As a whole, across the blow brings new expectations to the table for this band who will be kicking off 2015 with a oneman tour to fully present these songs live.
6 track CD
- different of stain
- Circus ga tsureteyuku
- Fuzoroi no cultry
- from mouth
- The sad things