Album Review: Rain Over St. Ambrose EP

 by Dan Nightingale

The debut Rain Over St. Ambrose EP, starts off with a crunchy guitar pulling through a classic blues progression before the full band kicks in right on queue; the overall sound does come across as more modern, with the steady swashing quarter note hi-hats and thick organ sounds of Black Mountain. There's a heavy, stomping stoner rock sound present too, and a wholly satisfying bridge with soaring vocals. It's a great way to kick off an album, and I'm all ready starting to regret the three song length of the EP.

“Headstone Lights” kicks off with a simple horn section, most likely added for the recording but it's always nice to hear a band bring in different elements without over using them. Once again great ambient background vocals ala Wintersleep work to great effect in this track. There's a more ambiguous, less bluesy background to this song, and the bass and drum work is tight and just flashy enough for the song without being over the top.

The EP concludes with At Night With Friends, which is not quite as catchy as the other two songs. Everything that worked for the band on the previous two tracks is in play here, but it just doesn't stick in the brain as much. The track does manage to catch your attention at the bridge as big, crunchy, heavy shot notes bash away under a long synth drone, before giving away to another set of luscious group vocals. It's a great ending to the short and sweet EP and it leaves you wanting more, which I think is always the goal of a great EP.

You can get your own copy of the EP at http://acadianembassy.com/2011/02/22/rain-over-st-ambrose-ep/

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