The Amity Front has produced a stellar debut album in their album Highway Bound
A unique and fresh take on music.
People must be willing to give it a try.
The Bottom Line
The more gigs that this band plays, the more fans they are guaranteed to find. Their music is simply that good!
There is a constant argument between music fans as to whether it is Northampton, Massachusetts or Amherst, Massachusetts that produces better musicians. Believe you me, there is no way that I am going to come between the Amherst fans and the Northampton fans, however, let me just say one thing. The Amity Front , based in Amherst, gives Amherst fans some solid ammunition to enter the musical battle with against the Noho music scene.
For those that are not familiar with the Pioneer Valley, picture this. The Pioneer Valley is to Massachusetts what Micronesia is to the United States. The all-powerful larger entity has a sort of big brother bully attitude towards the "lowly" Pioneer Valley. Everyone thinks good music must come from Cambridge, Boston, or Somerville. However, the Pioneer Valley has for years been kicking up some amazing talent, and The Amity Front should be proud to call themselves a top tier Pioneer Valley band.
The music of The Amity Front is different, which is appreciated by this listener. Anyone can get in front of a microphone and produce you everyday rock and roll music. However, when a band recognizes that there is more to music "out there", the musicians are not the only winners, but we, the listeners also win. The Amity Front mixes a funky twang of the blues and good old "American apple pie sounding rock and roll music" in their debut album Highway Bound .
The Amity Front is made up of Erik Alan (guitar and vocals), Levin Schwartz (guitar, mandolin and vocals), Jason Smith (drums and congas), Jazer Giles Schwartz (accordion, piano and vocals), and Max Adam (double bass).
A Song for Suzie brings you into the album nicely. A slow and methodic beat welcomes you into the album and you can quickly hear the emphasis on both the music and the vocals. As important as the vocals are on this track, there is a nice mix of instrumental sounds and range that shows a true appreciation for producing good music by The Amity Front.
The title track on the album, Highway Bound , is reminiscent of rocking on a porch listening to the music play while sipping some cool lemonade. Of course, I never have experienced such an event, but if I had, I would imagine this song playing in the background. A very direct and slow and at times descending sound puts the listener at ease in a way that most music simply cannot do. It is in no way boring, but rather, has a unique and sophisticated sound associated with this track.
16 Miles is a great track that has a walking beat to the music. The lyrics match the music perfectly and credit should be given to Erik Alan for creating a track that is as much a musical journey as is documented in the lyrics. A song that discusses, "...walking 300 miles," but not "...knowing where I am going," this track is much more on point than the wanderer described in the lyrics. The song is a one of the better ones that I have heard in quite some time and the beat is fresh and keeps the foot tapping.
The final track on the album, The Hymn , is probably one of the most appropriately titled tracks a band could pick. When you listen to this track, you are sure to have a quasi-religious experience with the music of The Amity Front, an experience that leaves you impressed with the music of the band and desiring to come back to this album real soon.
1. A Song for Suzie
2. Highway Bound
3. Maggie May
4. Things Don't Seem as Bad
5. Pocket Change Romance
6. The Beat (Nik)
7. 16 Miles
8. She Don't Lie
9. Can't Come Home
10. The Hymn
The Amity Front has produced a stellar debut album in their album Highway Bound . With the name of the band spreading to locations where they find themselves playing shows such as Burlington, Vermont and Cambridge, Massachusetts, you can rest assured that this band will find out that they will be highway bound for more and more gigs. And the best part is, the more gigs that this band plays, the more fans they are guaranteed to find. Their music is simply that good!
Highway Bound is produced by The Amity Front as well as David "Goody" Goodrich.
For more information about The Amity Front, check out their website at www.theamityfront.com
Great Music to Play While: Hanging With Friends