Chris Devotion and the Expectations Amalgamation and Capital Armellodie Records
Article written by
Ged M - Jan 11, 2012
There are times that make you despair of guitar music, which usually coincide with the promotion of the latest group of Libertines/Strokes wannabes like the Vaccines or Howler. And, equally, there are times when the cynic in you is banished on hearing a cathartic blast of guitars played with passion, soul and an honest heart. This is one such time and group; in strict terms, there’s nothing unique about the debut album by Glasgow four-piece CD/EX, as they’re known, but what marks it out is the presentation of its 16 cuts of fresh, direct and full-on rock’n’roll. It reminds me of the Thermals or Ted Leo and the Pharmacists – some of the best live bands I’ve ever seen for the hunger and commitment they show at every single show - with a hint of Flamin’ Groovies-style garage rock in the cracking ‘I Need Your Touch’.
The opening sequence of tracks should be enough to convince even the most guitar-jaded to open their ears to Amalgamation and Capital: these tunes are so quick they might have been shot from the Large Hadron Collider. ‘A Modest Refusal’ is spiky and dramatic, a second cousin lyrically of the Clash’s ‘Career Opportunities’: “let me tell you where I’m from / they brutalise you and give you a choice/ between a dead-end job and a uniform”. ‘I Don’t Need You Anymore’ is a flat-out no-regrets break-up song while ‘Tell the Girl’ is breathless punk pop. A change of pace (more for the benefit of the listener than the band) shows off the band’s extra dimensions; their turbocharged take on Woody Guthrie’s ‘I Ain’t Got No Home’ kicks off with 30 seconds of pristine acapella singing before going cowpunk-crazy and the final and longest track (the almost indulgent 4’44” of ‘Better Than This’) is anthemic Pixies-style pop.
Amalgamation and Capital is a series of short, sharp, barnstorming punk-pop tunes, strewn with hooks, fizzling with raw energy and perfect for restoring your faith in guitars and rock'n'roll.