Is the word masterpiece too much?
I have been listening to Amadan for roughly 6-7 years now. In those 6-7 years, I have seen Amadan progress from a traditional cover band into something way beyond this genre we call Celt-Punk, and I must say, it’s like a breath of fresh air. Not that there’s anything wrong with hearing random traditional songs done by numerous folk-punk bands, but it was time to push it a bit further, and in my opinion, Amadan’s “Pacifica” has done just that.
At a recent footy match, I ran into Eric Tonsfeldt (Songwriter/Guitarist/Vocalist). He told me Amadan had an album release party the next night in Eugene, Oregon and invited me to go. (I obviously was in on that road trip!) Just so you know, Eugene is about 100 miles away, and the drive provides a perfect opportunity to listen to a new album or two. So there I was, spontaneously reviewing an album as the principal songwriter provided details about the album as we drove toward a record release party. (That has to be a S’n’O first! )
Upon first listen, the music is beyond any comparison. Nothing, and I mean nothing else sounds like their new album. If you have heard “Hellbent”, then you may be on the right track, but you’re still not even close. As I have previously mentioned, “Pacifica” is not a folk-punk album, it’s way beyond that.
Considering the vast amount of musical space “Pacifica” covers. I will try to provide a track by track itinerary. We start out with “The Old North End” It’s a rockin’ little ode to Portland’s seedy Old Town. Google Shanghai tunnels for a more detailed account, after a few spins, you’ll be singing right along.
With “Anchor Tattoo” it gets even faster, and in a nutshell could almost describe the sound of the band, (Well almost.) If your foot isn’t tapping to this little ditty, you should seek medical attention.
“Not Your Man” is more or less the audio form of bible-thumping repellent. Fantastic lyrics, & amazing musicianship. We reflect on certain people of our past In “Used To Know” and speaking of people from our past, you need to take a listen to the next track, “Serenity” (Quite possibly, my favorite track on the album.)
The 1-2-3 punch of “Pishi”, “Coming Home” & “Mescaline” will simply blow you out of the water. This manic medley starts out as an instrumental, peaks in the middle, and suddenly breaks down back to level ground. If you’re looking for some orchestrated mayhem check out this trifecta. Up next, it’s the old standard “The Leaving Of Liverpool” done Amadan style. This song originally appeared on their first album/demo “Sons Of Liberty” but this version is better, way better!
Up next is “Damn This!” Someone sounds a little cynical and needs another beer… Speaking of good times, the next track is “Devil In The Kitchen” and if you thought Ashley MacIsaac annihilated this traditional song, you need to hear fellow Canadian, Naoyuki Ochiai’s blistering version. The fiddle playing is so god-damned fast, I partially blame Amadan for global warming. On a serious note, the album ends with “Devolution Now” A much needed rant towards religious oppression. A rant worth mentioning. A rant worth listening to. And an album worth every penny.
Review – Barnacle Brian