The Amblers, Justin Swart (guitar/vocals) and Jason Hinch (drums) are a South African pair that give previous power duos a run for their money in the bluesy/fuzzed-out, minimalist rock department. Shallow Pools (Deluxe Edition) is the first time the band will be releasing their music on vinyl thanks to Dutch label Lay Bare Recordings, out 30th September 2022.
The relaxed vibes that The Amblers embody, with their blues-soaked rock groove, is immediately captivating on opener Sticks and Stones. So laidback is the sound, it’s practically horizontal, The Amblers making an impression early on.
Something that continues into the animated catchiness of Keep Me Screamin’ and the electrically charged title track. The former is minimalist rock at its absolute best and really highlights The Amblers melodic capabilities. A really pretty and really touching track.
That’s tough to follow but with a ton more fuzz and an uptick in the energy department, The Amblers up the ante with the anthemic Dustling Man. Followed then by a thrilling exchange of riffs, drumbeats and smooth vocals in Ratty Old Mo’. A sun-kissed and light showcase of groovy rock music. Before the dusty and weathered sound of Forgive Me rings out and the harder and heavier clamour of Sixteen 100 Year Olds encourages a ton of movement.
Something few will find hard to ignore as it applies to the album as a whole. The Amblers have packed Shallow Pools with anthems, while proudly challenging expectations of what a two-piece can be capable of.
They’re a very talented pair and they continue to impress. The rocking blues rhythm of Sometimes, the excitable and eccentric groove of Birds and the Bees, and the empathic rock hit of The Day I Gave My Sister Away. Each track, as interesting as the last. At no point across the album’s length does boredom ever set in.
In fact, it flies by and suddenly, disappointingly, it’s the end. Just Get Me to Bed closing the album out in foot-tapping, finger-snapping and head-nodding style.
It’s a very lovable album.
The Amblers – Shallow Pools Full Track Listing:
1. Sticks and Stones
2. Keep Me Screamin’
3. Shallow Pools
4. Dustling Man
5. Ratty Old Mo’
6. Forgive Me
7. Sixteen 100 Year Olds
9. Birds and the Bees
10. The Day I Gave My Sister Away
11. Just Get Me to Bed
The Amblers – Shallow Pools (Lay Bare Recordings)
The Final Score - 8/10