Local Wire

Amusement Parks on Fire

Within the next month, expect American music 'zines and your local hipsters to pile head-exploding praise on England's Amusement Parks on Fire, which just released its self-titled debut stateside. It's already happened in the U.K. -- "Genius-in-a-bottle waiting to be unleashed," ejaculated Drowned in Sound; "Sounds like the sun rising on the greatest night of your life," pooped New Musical Express. The hype, of course, isn't the fault of 20-year-old band maestro Michael Feerick, who has crafted a promising, sometimes inspiring portfolio of rockscapes. The album includes at least one song, "Venosa," with the muscle and significance to make the feedbacky mood music that dominates the album seem like a theatrical backdrop. But a whirlpool of melody and feedback, however lovely, does not a revolution make. This is music that decisively, and skillfully, harks back to the supple, driving atmospherics of early '90s bands like Swervedriver. And if it's mistaken for Paul Revere, it's because the preening early '80s anachronists of the moment are so cutesy and unambitious compared to this blissed-out early '90s anachronist.