Sound — 8
An Endless Sporadic comes storming out of the gate strong with their debut EP Ameliorate. This short four-song effort, released in 2008, is the first offering from the progressive duo. For a band in such an early stage as it was at the time of recording, it proves to be a very well composed, expertly crafted slab of instrumental progressive rock with a hint of modern metal. Much of the music presented here closely resembles early Rush, with a bit of dropped-tuned edge taken from most current bands. The result is a sonic assault that will grab hold of you and not let go for its bombastic yet brief run-time. 01. Anything: The EP begins with a kick straight to the nether-regions, in the form of this strange entity of a song. Complete with plenty of heavy, distorted riffs, numerous time changes, multiple shred solos, and even a brief acoustic section, the title of the song should be an indication of what should be expected out of this track (and the rest of the album for that matter). 02. Impulse: Their most famous song by far, loved by guitar hero fan-boys from all over. And to be honest, it isn't bad at all. Here we have a great intro, followed by plenty of chugging and melodic leads, woven together with very nice keyboard work. The song alternates back and forth between heavy and soft to create a varied experience for the listener. There is even a section where it goes into a bit of a funk jam immediately followed by a crazy breakdown that tears down everything in its path before settling back into the normal groove of the song. It is very good, if slightly overrated, and gives the listener a clear indication of why the word Sporadic appears in the band name (not necessary a bad thing!) 03. Sun of Pearl: Beginning with a clean intro, the song swells into a musical tour-de-force with plenty of progressive touches and great keyboard usage, especially the lead in the chorus. Like Impulse, the song makes use of both heavy and soft sections to add variety, but here the stylistic shifts seem to fit in better, and don't feel as forced. This track contains arguably the best display of musicianship on the album, and is the true highlight of this experience. This is five minutes of sheer progressive bliss. 04. The Adventures of Jabubu: The last song on the album, and definitely the weirdest. The song almost has a bit of a surfing feel to it in some parts, and for the most part is pretty laid back, aside from the middle section which is pretty heavy. There is some very good guitar and keyboard work going on, but at this point in the album, that has pretty much become par for the course. It's a splendid song, but doesn't have much to make it stand out on its own.
Lyrics — 8
This is an instrumental album, so there are no lyrics. I will just post an appropriate score to average out the total. I guess because the UG standards require me to type in more words for my review to be posted here I go with a bit of filler. Now it should work.
Overall Impression — 8
While Ameliorate is certainly a superb first release from An Endless Sporadic, it does have its flaws which unfortunately do prevent it from becoming all it could be. With only four songs, clocking in at only around 20 minutes total, it seems a little short, even for an EP. The album is also plagued by a lack of quality production, which makes it sound more like a demo from a garage band as opposed to an official studio release. Of course, given that this band is just two college kids who happen to know how to play guitar, keyboard, bass, and drums, it is excusable, as they were most likely just focused on actually getting the songs recorded any way they could. Production quality aside, this is a very solid release that any fan of progressive music should have no qualms about checking out. This band may still be in its early stages, but judging from this effort alone, it is very clear the potential An Endless Sporadic could have somewhere down the road. There is certainly some room for improvement, but bands rarely manage to perfect their sound on a debut release. I would love to see these guys hit it big, get out of Indie-Band Limbo, and start making this stuff for a living. So please, check out the songs, and if you like what you hear, I strongly encourage you to purchase them and support these very talented musicians. If this were lost or stolen, I would definitely buy it again. After all, it only costs 4 dollars!