Starting out playing the same brand of emo that has been all the rage the last few years (sounding similar to Brand New and Senses Fail), Ambry nonetheless comes up during “Better Scene Than Heard” with a compelling first track. The bridge, done in the same sort of style as “Quiet Things”, is a nice connector and differentiation between the two sections of the style. Two things are immediately noticable during the second track “The Boy Who Had Two Shadows”: first off, the Travis Barker-like drumming laid on the track and the very present, very impressive bass line put down really make this track stand out as well as take a very different path than the opening song on “Hide Behind”. “Absense Equals Abstinence” really feel disjointed at the onset; the guitars seem to take a very different tack than the vocals; what results is not a failed track but rather one that makes individuals think as listeners gradually realize that the guitar work is actually in step with the rest of the track, as the multi-part harmony really follows the riffs’ lead.
Time and time again during “Hide Behind’s” runtime, Ambry comes through with a melody or musical flourish that will thrill. This is not any of the weak excuses for emo that have came out in the last few years; this is cut from the same cloth as legends as Fugazi, the aforementioned Brand New, and even The Movie Life. Ambry cuts through all of these half-hashed bands and puts an emotional intensity on this disc that really is worthy of the “emo” tag; however, this is not just a boy band-set of people playing away at their instruments.
“Car Crash Love” shows that this cannot be the case, as layer after layer of sound encompass this grit, transforming it into a pearl by the end of its runtime. Ambry makes a few other jumps on the space of “Hide Behind”, especially during the melodramatic vocals of the largely-acoustic “Linguistic Relativity For Horses”. To be perfectly frank, the combination that Ambry portrays on this disc – very pop-influenced but backing that up with some of the most solid instrumental tracks churned out by any band dubbed with the “emo” tag since Fugazi – is not to be beaten by anyone current. Their promotional sheet may say that they toured with Silverstein and Moneen, but Ambry clearly outclasses them on multiple fronts with this album.
Top Tracks: 32 Teeth And I Still Cant Bite My Tongue, Absence Equals Abstinence
Ambry – Holding On By The Blindfolds We Hide Behind / 2005 The Death Scene / 11 Tracks / http://www.ambryrock.com / http://www.thedeathscene.com / Reviewed 29 May 2005