Review: Quips “Amphetamines” CD

Here we have 10 quick tracks of quirky material that provides a strange blend of dirty rock 'n' roll with plenty of noisy textures amidst its rather straightforward song structures that kind of flirt with a grungy form of indie/alternative rock, while the vocals are a nasally sort of gratingly sung delivery that sometimes sweeps into a more caustic scream or a restrained croon. For some reason bits and pieces of this material are reminding me of Nirvana, but I don't really know why, because they don't really sound all that similar, but I guess elements of the vocal delivery are definitely kind of Cobain-ish (namely in "Drugs Are Fun"). But then you have tracks like "Fall Asleep" or "Spread the News" with quick little 70's rock riffs or lead bursts that throw things for a bit of a loop; while "So Slow" cranks out a badass distorted bass intro before some unexpectedly twisted guitar work takes hold. "Unsteady" is probably the most Nirvana-like of the songs simply because it's a little catchier than most of the others, though I have to admit that there are some cool little mangled melodies in "Going This Way" that definitely catch my ear. The recording's not bad, but it's a little harsh for my ears, and I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that I find the vocals to be a little too far up front, and they're somewhat irritating by nature, so... The drums sound fucking awesome, and I could probably hang with the thin sheen of distortion that adds a lot of bite to the guitar playing, but they need to kick those basslines up in the mix and figure out a way to numb the sting of the vocals. Don't get me wrong, I can listen to it, I'm not turned away by the recording, it's crisp and clear, I just think there are more beneficial manners in which to deliver this stuff. The packaging is largely done with metallic bronze and silver inks over white, depicting some handwritten text and weird little illustrations of children. No lyrics are included, but I'm largely okay with that, and I do think the design looks pretty damn slick. I'm torn on this one in the end, though. I want to like it, and for the most part I do, but it's still missing something, so I can't totally get into it yet. I think a stronger recording that packs more of a punch could possibly be enough to win me over, but it's hard to say. Regardless, there are some great songs here, and I'd like to see what the band does next.

[Translation Loss]
Running time - 24:00, Tracks: 10
[Notable tracks: I'll Be Okay, Unsteady, Going This Way]
Translation Loss Records -