Amusement Parks On Fire

Road Eyes

 

When Mike Feerick released his first album under the name Amusement Parks On Fire in 2004—a bedroom recording concocted by the then 16 year old songwriter—anyone who caught wind of it knew they were in the presence of a rare talent, and they had to know that he was only going to get better. Boy, did he ever fulfill that promise. Six years later, this now-quintet have expanded the blissful, lush shoegazer-pop template that Feerick stitched together at home to Cinemascope-like vistas. The nine songs on their third album, Road Eyes, feel like they have room to breathe and fly free. And the band want to grab you by the lapels and take you along for the ride. 

What has crept into the mix even more is the influence of modern American rock. Some of that could simply come from the amount of time the quintet spent touring the U.S., but it also bears the sun-drenched stamp of the city where it was recorded: Los Angeles. "Raphael" and "Flashlight Planetarium" push just that much harder, and if Feerick's pale-skinned vocals were replaced by a gruffer tone, could easily become lost highlights from some young Californian emo band.

That struggle between the relentless sun and optimism of the West Coast and the romantic longing and grey brooding born of their hometown of Nottingham is what makes this near-perfect album such a challenging and gratifying listen. The desperate love songs—particularly the grasping beauty of "Wave Of The Future"—have an air of hope that is often missing from music of this ilk, and the joyful rockers are almost blinding in their enthusiasm and energy.

Filter U.S. http://www.filterusrecordings.com

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