Saturday, September 11, 2010

Ameris - Chapter 1 (192)

So one day I happened to somehow stumble upon this, a 6 track demo for a band called Ameris.

The past decade has killed the credibility of the lo-fi sound of cheap homemade recordings. It has taken a lot blunt hits to its once pure face thanks to plenty of bands that have been using it to try and make themselves sound more honest or more authentic or less like the arrogant perfectionists they’ll portray themselves to be(while they really aren’t perfectionists at all, they’re actually just genuinely incompetent). This isn’t me saying that the lo-fi compressed sound should be only kept for those that really have no other option than to go for the cheaply produced album, but I’m saying that making your album in a compressed tape recorder/home recording format doesn’t make you authentic. At one point it may have seemed like it did, but that was because the bands that used it WERE the real thing, they meant what they said, they weren’t playing to appeal- they were just playing.

In this same spectrum is where Ameris lies, playing just for playing. There is something special though that the murky production has on emotive hardcore, like in Sunny Day Real Estate’s debut album Diary, (where the production, while not being in any way low quality was still closer to the lo-fi sound of Pavement’s Debut than it was of a clear cut “I know exactly what is going on” recording) the slight darkness on the recordings make the songs stand out so that it’s not a single instrument that hits the listener, but the entirety of what’s going on- the intensity of what’s around them. In the same way, Ameris’ sound is only further intensified by the mixing, the vocals taking the entire lead throughout this six track EP and leaving the instruments to provide more of the scenery than an event. The band obviously gets a lot of its influence from SDRE though, taking the same feeling of Diary and pushing it with the modern emotive hardcore method.

The EP’s best characteristic and what gives it its entire personality is the piano used in the songs because there’s nothing that really sets contrast to the moods given than the sound that the clear, barely audible (but still there) piano keys hitting down on sweet higher notes as the distorted guitar riffs away, and the drums stick to their crashes.

This is something good, and something you’ll rarely find in this day, a band taking what’s been beaten to death and bringing it back to life, all while it’s still being beaten.

Download here.
Support Ameris at their MySpace.

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