To say it’s been a turbulent couple of years for AMBER RUN would be an understatement. Since the release of 5AM in 2015 the band has lost a member, signed a new record real with Sony and confessed that they had endured periods when making music “had turned to poison”.
Nonetheless, the band battled on and For A Moment, I Was Lost is the product of the struggle. The album kicks off with the steady drumming of ‘Insomniac’ which is more energetic than previous efforts. There’s a clear pain in lead singer Joe’s vocals, the battles with bandmates and recording companies have taken their toll. However, if anything, this adds an extra dimension to AMBER RUN’s music. The lyrics are better thought out, haunting in places and so much more developed.
Tracks such as ‘No Answers’, ‘Stranger’ and ‘Haze’ had already graced fans’ ears and help to structure the opening six tracks of the album. ‘Haze’ is particularly impressive. The song lasts just under two minutes and if anything functions as more of a transition track on the record. The built up instruments of ‘Insomniac’ are gone and the synthesised vocals take centre stage. The effect is closer to the older style of music AMBER RUN became famed for but, again, the lyrics such as ,“I wanna be your preacher, I wanna be your King and now I know why everything is in a blue haze”, draw the listener in. The track, performed live at the O2 Academy here in Newcastle two weeks ago, has the potential to silence a crowd. ‘Fickle Game’ has a similar vibe to ‘Haze’ and the lingering musing of “fickle game” in the chorus creates a mysterious air. ‘Dark Bloom’ has the same feeling and focuses on the band’s recent fall outs. It’s not as stripped back as ‘Haze’ or ‘Fickle Game’ but neither is there too much going on to lose the sincerity of the track.
"it’s near impossible to stop your foot from tapping alone"
Overall, the new sound is well honed and the album has been impeccably produced. Transitions from song to song are effortless and the journey from start to finish on the record is very convincing. That said, there are moments when AMBER RUN do seem to be over-thinking a little too much. “Perfect” is my favourite track on the album, the bass riff is to die for and it’s near impossible to stop your foot from tapping alone. Sadly, however, the chorus just loses control. It’s clear AMBER RUN are trying something new but they have tried a little too hard. The combination of sounds is overwhelming and blows away any notes from the verse still lingering in a listener’s head. Moments like these are very few and far between but worth noting simply as evidence of the band’s evolution.
For A Moment, I Was Lost really is an outstanding effort from AMBER RUN. The making of it was not easy at all but that struggle and relief when it started coming together serves to make the record so believable. It’s a diamond in the rough and an incredibly constructed work.