Amusement Parks On Fire Amusement Parks On Fire

[Filter; 2005]

Styles: shoegaze, texture-happy art noise, post-punk
Others: My Bloody Valentine, Jesus and Mary Chain, Sonic Youth

Amusement Parks On Fire is basically Michael Feerick, a young lad from Nottingham. On his self-titled debut, we find him carving his own little niche in the massive cinderblock that is the field of texture-conscious noise pop. Feerick, apparently left to his own devices, crafted this nine-song monstrosity all by his lonesome. With his good friend feedback and his pal from the neighborhood, distortion, Feerick has concocted his own brand of downcast, heavy-handed guitar music.

Though age shouldn't be considered, it will be considered here simply for its use in a positive light. Feerick relies on distortion to achieve ambiance. He does this like a seasoned professional. Textures are built patiently; Feerick is in no rush to drive his point home, knowing that he will be proven in due time. His playing never becomes too brash, as there is always something palpable to gnaw on. Mentioning individual tracks is pointless, seeing as how the album stands marvelously as a whole.

For those who find noise frightening, please do not fret. The assault here is tolerable, with an introduction and an interlude allowing ample breathing time. Strings and keys and all those nice things add other dimensions, never coming off like an unnecessary addition to the composition, though.

Like the cover art, the music is all very black and white with a smack of gray, though the sounds never teeter off into bleak territory. There are pop tendencies here. The feedback is a caress rather than a jab. It's hard not to draw comparisons to certain texture-happy forefathers. But I'll take this Kevin Shields spirit incarnate any day.

1. 23 Jewels
2. Venus In Cancer
3. Eighty Eight
4. Wiper
5. Venosa
6. Asphalt (interlude)
7. Smokescreen
8. The Ramones Book
9. Local Boy Makes God