Amp Rive – Irma Vep 7.5

                Amp Rive is Post-Rock at its most tasteful. ‘Irma Vep’ remains at heart a very gentle album. The crescendos employed are carefully arranged. Distorted elements remain somewhat underused on the songs. For the most part the sound is crystal clear. Little gets in the way of the guitars intermingling with each other. Rarely are any other sounds involved in the album. 

                ‘Procession’ opens up with a slight 60s flavor. This is due to the electronic organ which churns away as the rest of the band slowly catches up. It remains one of the few times where an element other than guitar or drums takes center stage. Eventually the organ is mixed deep into the rest of the song almost completely disappearing. ‘Clouded Down’ the longest track on the album owes a huge debt to those post-rock pillars ‘Explosions in the Sky’. Right down to the gradually unfolding melodies this remains one of the highlights of the album. It’s sweet. It builds itself up. Plus the pacing on this track is particularly good along with the quieter flourishes they offer. Here the guitars work together to soar rather than offer one single aspect of the sound. With this approach their work pays off. 

No solos they adhere to the aspect of post-rock which states ‘group play’ above all else, following the Tortoise creed of work. Amp Rive remains committed to this vision through the album. ‘Irma Vep’ is a sweet gentle album that slowly grows on the listener. Uniformity is important for their aesthetic. And with their strict disciplined playing they are able to create an album that’s both memorable and casual.