With a mouthful of a name and a flavoursome depth to their captivating sound, French rockers The Amsterdam Red Light District unleash their new and highly anticipated album Gone For A While. It is a striking encounter which intrigues and pleases at every turn, the band’s mix of alternative rock in a fusion of melodic punk and hardcore, ensuring a persistent drama and vivacity to each and every track. That it does not ignite the passions as rigorously as it maybe should have is a mystery and probably a personal thing, but certainly the eleven track proposition provides a tasty stomp for ears and imagination to invest a real appetite in.
Seemingly with members based in Lyon and California, The Amsterdam Red Light District since forming in 2005 has earned a potent reputation and recognition for their sound and live presence. Employing inspirations from the likes of Refused, The Bronx, The Ghost of a Thousand, and The Bled into their own distinct ideas and invention, the band has made striking marks through debut album Dear Diary in 2010 and the I’m Not Insane EP two years later, their success backed by a live presence which has seen The Amsterdam Red Light District play all over Europe with great regularity, feature at festivals such as Groezrock, Mair1, Resurrection, Sylak and Rockstorm, as well as play with bands such as Refused, Anti-Flag, Thrice, 36 Crazyfists, Comeback Kid, and Slayer. In July this year the band set about recording second full-length Gone for a While, its release like the first with Red Light Records, now upon us and likely to only intensify the spotlight on the band.
Opener Time Flies swiftly has ears and feet involved in its feisty stomp, riffs and rhythms an immediate frenzy bound in enticing grooves. Vocalist Elio Sxone is a commanding presence within the raucous persuasion from his first syllable, whilst guitarist Maxime Comby is soon complimenting his caustic riffs with sonic enterprise. Arguably there are no real surprises within the song but equally it is a refreshing and magnetic offering with real power to its energy and persuasion capped by the great Red Tape like vocal roars alongside the velvety shadowed tones of bass provided by Gregory Clert.
The attention grabbing start is surpassed by the fascinating Just Have A Good Time, its initial Southern rock/Cajun twang the lead into a ferociously fiery and impressive incitement. Swiftly revealing more of the depths and diversity to the band’s sound, the heavy rock fuelled track stomps with contagious and aggressive intent driven forcibly by the imposing skills of drummer Julien Chanel. The song though is still as welcoming and catchy as its predecessor, whilst the blend of raw and melodic vocals work a treat across song and subsequently the album, their union as bracing as the contrasting sounds igniting the beast of a song.
Million Miles Away is no slouch in getting the blood running hungrily through band and listener either, its on-going charge littered with spicy hooks aligned to harsh and melodic elements of punk. Fuelled with a torrent of barbed and addiction forging twists, with further outbreaks of chunky riffing and virulent grooving piling on the temptation, the song keeps the album flying high before handing over ears and emotions to the similarly compelling and voraciously sculpted A Chance To Change. Its energy is as full and insatiable as in its predecessor, and with a thick melodic tempting to its rigorous tenacity, provides another weighty slab of punk hunger and irrepressible contagion.
The brief evocative presence of Final Boarding Call is underwhelming, the track seemingly an intro into the album’s following title track but lacks anything to halt the urge to simply move straight to Gone For A While, itself a song lacking something compared to the first quartet of encounters but reinforcing the craft and imagination surging through the album with ease, if not the earlier adventure shown. Its gentler caresses definitely make for a satisfying companionship before Behind Your Sunglasses unveils its fiercer presence and emotion. Still missing that spark of bold inventiveness, the track impresses as it bawls and croons simultaneously, the vocals especially gripping within the tasty web of chords and hooks.
Both These Kids That Your Parents Warned You About and Come Closer leave ears and appetite full of lingering pleasure, the first with gnarly bass tones and bordering on hostile rhythms, a grouchy and thrilling protagonist. Its growl is wholly infectious, as is the return of that bolder inventiveness which marked the start of the album as the track shows itself to be another lofty peak in the landscape of the release. Its successor is built from the same template, a hearty snarl coating every predatory note and heavily swung beat, not forgetting the raw vocal side of the band, whilst grooves and hooks find their own unique venom to infest the imagination.
The two songs has body and thoughts back hungrily engaged before making way for the addiction causing Set The World On Fire, the track one of those anthemic stomps which only a loss of hearing can deter. Its muscular brawl of a seduction is followed by closing track Waiting For So Long, an encounter featuring Justin Schlosberg from Hell Is For Heroes. A final blaze of rugged and melodic punk vitality which maybe misses truly lighting the passions, it nevertheless gives the album a furnace of a send-off whilst egging on the urge to dive right back into the heart of Gone For A While.
At the start we said that the album did not inflame the strength of ardour that it probably should have. It is hard to define why, certainly there is not an abundance of surprises but there is plenty to enthral and spark a greed for more. It is easy to expect Gone For A While to be a major trigger for the passions in a great many though, and for the rest of us it has to be said The Amsterdam Red Light District has placed a strong enough grip with the album that anticipation for their next endeavour is unavoidable.
Gone For A While is available now via Red Light Records, digitally @ https://itunes.apple.com/fr/album/gone-for-a-while/id918599363 and on CD @ http://tarld.bigcartel.com/
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