Sound — 8
Amber Pacific's second full length release on Hopeful Records entitled Truth In Sincerity is pumped with power pop energy, skateboard punk velocity, and emotive muscle in the vocal moves of lead singer Matt Young. The power drumming of Dango and the guitar crimps of Will Nutter's furious fretting trembles with the thunderous intensity of a free falling avalanche. Bassist Greg Strong heightens the crescent turbulence and stays spot on with drum kicks and searing guitar hooks. Their bars of power pop plumes and skateboard punk guitar slings are familiar in bands like Strike Anywhere and Matchbook Romance, but Amber Pacific fatten up their billowing action with orchestral strings performed by the Seattle Symphony on tunes like Take Me From This Place, Fall Back Into My Life and the preamble Rule #76 which segues into the fast and furious guitar sequences of Summer (in B). The staccato beats are sharp and erect ridges along the melody. The beats makes bubbly tremors on numbers like Temporary and Living Proof while the guitar arpeggios are challenging as they tangle and careen through the melodic verses. The music is enthusiastic and energetic with tracks like Follow Your Dreams, Forget The Scene and Runaway which features singer Mike Herrera from MXPX on alter vocal parts alongside Young. The chord changes are stirring and give the momentum extra pull as the pounding rhythms exhibit athletic speeds. The progressions form crests and slopes that move like a mogul course and the vocals glide along the surfs with a proficient swagger. Produced by Martin Feveyear (Mark Lanegan, Presidents Of The United States of America), Truth In Sincerity shows Amber Pacific's ease of playfulness and intensity and their sturdy grip on handling turbulent frequencies. I thought they were extremely proficient.
Lyrics — 9
The lyrics are expressive of human interaction and being able to develop inner strength from those personal relationships like in the song Watching Over Me when Young reflects, From your words I can tell you've lost a reason/ The will to carry on/ No chance that we will make it/ You've faked it for so long/ But I'm standing here before you/ As you're barely holding on/ And I'm writing just to show you/ There's strength in who you are/ We live and we fall/ But I'll try to move on/ It's so hard to be the one left on my own. The lyrical phrases are interpersonal and build inner strength out of failed relationships and the challenges from life's experiences. The words and vocals fit right in with the persistency of the rhythmic pulls.
Overall Impression — 8
As much as Amber Pacific have similarities with other power pop/skateboard punk bands, their music has sonic wails and tangling coordinates that are truly of their own making. Their music has charisma and strength, exuberance and contrasting textures that give their songs character, which may explain why their track Fall Back Into My Life was chosen to be in the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film. The album has a playfulness and intensity that is totally aligned with TMNT's mantra and that's totally fine.