Album Review: The Amends, What We Could Be

The Amends - What We Could Be

This story starts out with a band and a dream. The Boulder, CO based band, The Amends, has aspirations to gain popularity by way of self-promotion. Recently they reached out to see if I would check out their second studio album that was released earlier this year. Fortunately for them, I just started writing again and fortunately for me, I took that chance and gave the album a listen. The Amends consisting of band members Drew Weikart (Lead Vocals and Guitar), Tyler Taylor (Vocals, Keys and Rhythm Guitar), Chris Childress (Bass) and Shay Byington (Drums) caught me off guard with an album that touches base with classic rock and blues while adding that hint of Indie rock.

What We Could Be starts straight out with an edginess that says we have arrived and we have come to kick your door in. “Second Take” makes me think back to when the Arctic Monkeys first came out of the gate. You can really hear the direct message from a band that just wants to jam and make people have fun. The second track, “A Certain Speed”, keeps the party vibe going. They start out the album with a kick and you think that is what you have turned yourself on to but you better think again.

As soon as the keys hit in a “Big City Way” you get more of a blues sound to their rock music. This tells you that this band is not a one-dimensional rock group. The guitar solos in this song scream to the masses of blues fans. They follow it up with “More To Give” and this song hits more on the pop side of the spectrum with a really catchy line of lyrics. Again, this shows the diversification of a truly talented group who doesn’t want its listeners to get bored over the course of an album. They keep the pop vibe going with “Make It So”. This is another catchy track with an aura that is high on happiness and has me thinking about reggae music.

“Time Goes On” gives the band a chance to showcase their ability to slow it down as they deliver their first ballad of the album. I really like how they use a higher pitched guitar to deliver a retro feel to their music. Most albums take a turn for the worse at their halfway point but I feel like The Amends get stronger from here on out. “Tick Tock” comes back with that initial edginess that they started the album with. I really am in love with the high-pitched chords that they use throughout this song and continue to use throughout What We Could Be.

“It’d Be Nice” makes me feel like I just stepped into the Double Deuce (the bar in the movie Roadhouse). That is a compliment meaning that they just nailed the blues in this track in the best way possible. “Dreamer” brings back the softer side of The Amends sound of rock n’ roll. Drew Weikart has this way of using his voice to take you back generations to a sound of the past. The next track, “When She’s Gone”, features the keys of Tyler Taylor and is the second ballad of the album. It has a great message of losing out on love and the case of realizing what you had after it is gone.

“Desperate Times” has the sound of a band that has been around for a lot longer time hence the harmonica at the end. It strikes me as if they are reminiscing about the past and reflecting on a long career. Hopefully, this folk-like song is foreshadowing things to come because the final track, “Come & See” tells me that they will be around for a long time. This song starts off reminding me of a band by the name of Bright Eyes when it is slowed down with the keys. Then when the guitar solos hit it reminds me of Jack White. I never thought I would make that last statement and for that reason, it is my favorite song on the album. Being a perfect example of saving your best for last.

Overall, a highly versatile album that had me comparing this band to the Arctic Monkeys, Bright Eyes and Jack White while mentioning almost every genre in the book. If you want an album that is a little bi-polar from start to finish look no further than What We Could Be by The Amends. Its mood swings are just songs and they are much easier to handle than moods.

Release Date: January 8th, 2013


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