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  Irma Rep  
  Amp Rive  
  Fluttery Records  
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Going back in time a bit for this one. Amp Rive are an instrumental post-rock band from Italy. The instrumental post-rock field is a little crowded these days, and to be honest i am kind of over it. But i still try to give things a chance, so i downloaded this promo.

It seemed okay at first, but didn't wow me. Later i needed space on my phone for newer promos, and i deleted it. Well, almost all of it. For some reason the song A Sort of Apology didn't get deleted. It stayed on the phone and in a fit of algorithmic strangeness would come up every time i hit "random".

And it is a really good song. It is more like an instrumental indie rock tune than post-rock. What i mean is, it moves along pretty forcefully, guitars riffing nicely in layers over insistent drumming. All it needs is a poorly recorded female singer alternately shouting and mumbling some lyrics, and they would have a genuine alternative "hit" on their hands. Huh.

It made me track down the original ZIP file archived in the depths of my computer. I set it up to re-copy onto the phone to give it another listen. And then ... i had a catastrophic hard drive failure. It took me weeks to recover, and i am still sorting through recovered photos and MP3s that lost their names in the hard drive reformat.

But i found this album again, and put it on the phone.

And i am glad i did. This is a fun little record. Yes, i would call this more instrumental indie rock than post-rock, but really, the difference is minor. I think that Amp Rive move their songs along a little more forcefully than a lot of post-rock bands do, and yet at the same time they never descend into the sheer heaviness that Mogwai or Explosions in the Sky get to at times. I would compare what they do to Emery Reel, or perhaps an instrumental version of The Potomac Accord.

That last comparison is pretty apt, because Amp Rive feature a keyboardist, and that layer of depth is a nice addition to the de rigeur post-rock guitar haze.

The band go through six tracks in about 40 minutes, so there are no massive Godspeedian epics here, but the songs aren't short punk tunes either. They walk the middle path, i guess.

Opener Procession starts things off with a deep, grinding organ, as if they are channeling Ray Manzarek or Jon Lord. It's pretty cool. The band comes in with guitars tinkling in layers and some steady drumming.

Best Kept Secret is a really pretty tune, with drums scattered behind layers of guitars that chime lightly. A Sort Of Apology is next, and it's a damned fine tune that moves along forcefully with nice guitarwork.

On Clouded Down drummer Riccardo (no last names given) really sounds like Explosions in the Sky, playing that martial kind of beat. The guitars tinkle over this. It's derivative, i guess, especially if you own a copy of The Earth Is Not a Cold Dead Place, but it's a decent tune. If is very similar, but the guitars are deeper and more shoegazery. That is, they echo loudly, almost like a new wave tune. I like this one a lot. And finally we wrap things up with The Apocalypse In F, a pretty straight-forward post-rock tune.

I enjoy this record, and i am glad i gave it a second chance. If you like post-rock, you should seek this out.

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