Amestory – They Can Sing, They Can Sing, They Can Sing Underwater EP

They Can Sing, They Can Sing, They Can Sing Underwater EP

First of all, I can hardly believe this is the same band that created the same group of songs on their self-titled debut back in 2006. Mike Russell may have performed the vocals in both sets but it sounds like two completely different people. Here we see Russell as a deeper, more mature artist than the lilting boyish voice of little more than a year ago. It’s a complete transformation vocally but the music remains rooted in their original style, albeit more grown up and a bit darker.

The album opens with the signature grandiose piano as heard on previous efforts over sparse yet powerful drumming in “The March, The Parade”. When Russell’s vocals enter it’s a much deeper tone than heard in the more lighthearted full length from 2006 and goes well with the overall ominous mood of the album, which conjures up visions of Pink Floyd’s The Wall but in a much closer to home way with lines like “hide the guilt by hanging yellow ribbons in the trees.”

Serene piano with a soft, airy violin invite the listener into “The Glass Dome, The Real Air” but contains a eerie emergency siren type sound floating around in the background that is not easily heard. Russell’s croon follows over bouncy pizzicato which gives way to Killers-style drumming, crashing cymbals and piano underneath his melodic yelling. Halfway through the track the music softens to a sadly beautiful violin over piano with Russell singing of “the average fellow man should hold dear the fate of the land where his grandchildren will stand looking out from a glass dome thinking ‘who’s still outside breathing real air?’”

In “The Inventors, The Investors” Russell’s vocals are especially reminiscent of Syd Barrett as his shaky voice rises and falls over crashing drums and powerful piano and even more so towards the ending when he is heard over no more than a sparsely strummed acoustic guitar. The slightly disturbing and creepy mood is enough to give you chills.

Russell cries of a future in “The Love, The Ocean Floor” and his singing style of the past creeps back into his voice before launching into full out rocking with electric guitars over crashing drums. The mood is one of relief from one leaving the world and in knowing what it will become in the ending line “trumpet your sighs like a warning.”

Unfortunately, while this is a fine song to end on, there is a strange minute of silence at the end of “The Love, The Ocean Floor” before finally ending with 20 seconds of creepy keyboards over electric guitar that’s a bit jarring if you aren’t expecting it. This is ultimately not the best ending, but that aside, this is some of the better music I’ve heard in this genre and with only four tracks the album is over before you know it and begs for a full length. I recommend checking out their 2006 self-titled debut and split EP with Tim Wilson in the meantime.