2017 is a big year for Clifton, NJ based alternative rock band Ambary Lake as they release their debut album Red Sky Above. An album two years in the making, the band hyped up this album with the release of their first single “Clancey” almost a year ago to the album’s release date of January 13, 2017, followed by “Nostalgia Drive” last month.
The album opens up with a very ambient piece called “Ellie” with beautiful arpeggios from lead guitar player Matt Billy. It seamlessly transitions to their single “Clancey”, a song with a very bouncy, yet infectious chorus “We’ll show them how to feel like nothing else matters. // We’ll show them how to see the world.”
“Nostalgia Drive” has a very pop punk-y feel with lyrics of relationship and loss. “Kingdom”, quite possibly my favorite song on the album, has lead singer Nagee Diaz-Corpening sounding a bit like Anthony Raneri (Bayside), which is certainly not a bad thing. The upbeat and syncopated drums, courtesy of Xavier Clyburn, really tie this song together along with the tight rhythm section of Tom Kleczynski on bass and Shawn Dahlhaus on rhythm guitar. As the album progresses, the band diversifies themselves with slower songs such as “Train Back Home” and “Apocalypse Now”, proving that they can diversify their sound, yet still create songs that hit home. “Goodbye” the final song on the album, closes the album quite nicely and gives the listener a sense of completion.
What makes the Clifton quintet different from other bands is that each song sound unique. Some songs purposefully lead into other, but nothing blends to the point where it sounds like one long 45 minute song. The vocals, though a little rough around the edges, really fit the instrumentation behind it. Instrumentally, it varies a lot, taking inspiration from post rock, alt rock, and early/mid 2000’s post-hardcore at time, but with their own spin on it. I look forward to what the band has to offer in terms of shows and future albums.
You can check out their debut album on Bandcamp here!