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The New Amsterdams - Story Like a Scar (Cover Artwork)

The New Amsterdams

The New Amsterdams: Story Like a ScarStory Like a Scar (2006)
Vagrant Records

Reviewer Rating: 3


Contributed by: MarkRowanMarkRowan
(others by this writer | submit your own)

The New Amsterdams' latest album Story Like a Scar was just released on March 21st, and when compared to their last effort Worse for the Wear, one can't help but to feel overall disappointment. I wanted this to become my new favorite record. I wanted to love this album, but I just couldn't force mys.
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The New Amsterdams' latest album Story Like a Scar was just released on March 21st, and when compared to their last effort Worse for the Wear, one can't help but to feel overall disappointment. I wanted this to become my new favorite record. I wanted to love this album, but I just couldn't force myself to do it. The New Amsterdams seem to go back to the earlier days with seemingly simpler instrument arrangements, but this doesn't really emphasize the vocals and lyrics like it should. Also, the use of a harmonica has not made a return on this album.

It's not to say that this album is completely terrible, there are just certain problems with it. For one thing, old fans' expectations are pretty high and this album just doesn't live up to it. Another thing is that this band is known for releasing demos on their website. The Killed or Cured LP is awesome and could be downloaded in its ten-song entirety on their website, along with B-sides from Story Like a Scar and tracks from their previous albums. These demos added to the expectations for this album and makes listeners wonder what could have been. F.e., "Full Thunder Moon" is a track on Killed or Cured which is better than most of Story Like a Scar's tracks.

There is certainly some standout tracks here, though. "Turn Out the Light" and "Calendar Days" are both great songs, but they get lost in the rest of the CD. Not to mention that the last track, "Turn Out the Light Reprise" ends the album with us thinking that the full version of "Turn Out the Lights" could have been that much better. "Your Ghost," which is placed in the middle of the album, brings the flow to a screeching halt. "Intelligent Design" tries to pick the pace up again, but ends up sounding totally out of place.

It would be wrong to say that this album sucks, because it doesn't. It's a good album in its own right and would probably be received as a great debut album for a different band. But, when long-time fans of the New Amsterdams pick up this album I would be shocked if there wasn't at least a little bit of disappointment from them. If this album is your first into the catalog of the New Amsterdams, you probably won't be disappointed, and as you go into their past albums you will just become more of a fan. The New Amsterdams are a great band, this just so happens to be a less than great album.

 


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Anonymous (April 18, 2006)

Really not the best review. Completely failed to mention the Get Up Kids or the fact that this is actually the New Amsterdams' first record as a real band. Everything before this was essentially a Matt Pryor solo project.

Anonymous (April 18, 2006)

Harmonica...in the first track....

...listen up man.

Anonymous (April 16, 2006)

rather listen to the new Larry Arms while waiting for the new Souls album, fuck this shit.

Anonymous (April 15, 2006)

Yes, I am a dong.

Matt the Dong

Anonymous (April 15, 2006)

the get up kids changed my life, and i still listen to them daily. worse for the wear was a really, really good record.

this is not.

matt, seriously man. what are you dong?

bring back the kids, write another good record, and forge about this band.

Anonymous (April 14, 2006)

best song on this is "your ghost", by far.

Anonymous (April 14, 2006)

I think I would fall asleep in the middle of sex if this crap was playing in the background.

GlassPipeMurder (April 14, 2006)

I like this album quite a bit. Past the Pines is killer. Calender Days is also pretty sweet.

heybarmold (April 14, 2006)

I'll tell you what this sounds like. A country band. On a bunch of tracks. Some acoustic stuff, steel guitars, a little bluegrass sometimes. It still sounds like them, but not really. Ok, so its fucking hard to describe.

I was kinda disappointed with it, probably cause I was expecting another Killed or Cured. It's not that it's a bad cd. Luckily, they change everything when they play the songs live. Matt was like, so what do you want to hear, everyone requested Holiday. Didn't play it.

All the songs are still about speed though.

Anonymous (April 14, 2006)

seriously, not a single word about what this sounds like. I still have no idea.

joeg (April 14, 2006)

so uh, what does this band/record sound like? the reviewer failed to mention that slight detail.

Scruffy (April 14, 2006)

"There is certainly some standout tracks here, though. “Turn Out the Light” and “Calendar Days” are both great songs, but they get lost in the rest of the CD. Not to mention that the last track, “Turn Out the Light Reprise” ends the album with us thinking that the full version of “Turn Out the Lights” could have been that much better. “Your Ghost,” which is placed in the middle of the album, brings the flow to a screeching halt. “Intelligent Design” tries to pick the pace up again, but ends up sounding totally out of place.

I tried to use HTML powers to illustrate the "vivid" detail in the paragraph you mentioned.

You'll notice that nothing is actually said about the sound, and an uninformed reader should have no reason to believe that this is not a Norwegion fantasy metal band.

I complain on the Internet for a living."

Actually, I mean this part:
"Another thing is that this band is known for releasing demos on their website. The Killed or Cured LP is awesome and could be downloaded in its ten-song entirety on their website, along with B-sides from Story Like a Scar and tracks from their previous albums. These demos added to the expectations for this album and makes listeners wonder what could have been. F.e., “Full Thunder Moon” is a track on Killed or Cured which is better than most of Story Like a Scar's tracks."

I just accidentally said "the next paragraph". Sorry about being a douche. But he did explain why it might be a let down to fans.

Anonymous (April 14, 2006)

bring back the get up kids!

Anonymous (April 14, 2006)

At first I didn't really like this record but after a few spins
It's good I'd give more of a 3.75 maybe a 4. Take some time and listen you'll hear it.

Anonymous (April 14, 2006)

i agree with the review. i wanted to like this but its not their best stuff

FortyMinutesWesterberg (April 14, 2006)

There is certainly some standout tracks here, though. “Turn Out the Light” and “Calendar Days” are both great songs, but they get lost in the rest of the CD. Not to mention that the last track, “Turn Out the Light Reprise” ends the album with us thinking that the full version of “Turn Out the Lights” could have been that much better. “Your Ghost,” which is placed in the middle of the album, brings the flow to a screeching halt. “Intelligent Design” tries to pick the pace up again, but ends up sounding totally out of place.

I tried to use HTML powers to illustrate the "vivid" detail in the paragraph you mentioned.

You'll notice that nothing is actually said about the sound, and an uninformed reader should have no reason to believe that this is not a Norwegion fantasy metal band.

I complain on the Internet for a living.

Scruffy (April 14, 2006)

""It’s not to say that this album is completely terrible, there are just certain problems with it. For one thing, old fans' expectations are pretty high and this album just doesn’t live up to it."

Why?

Seriously, if you're gonna write a review, give examples as to why something is disappointing, not just that it is."

Um....he did. In the very next paragraph. In vivid detail.

kindofalongwaydown (April 14, 2006)

Is anyone gonna review the new Appleseed cast??????

Pope_Skeletor (April 14, 2006)

With the demise of The Get Up Kids, I was kind of expecting that The New Amsterdams would become a more dynamic band, like on Worse for the Wear but better. This is a decent album, but not quite what I was hoping for.

FortyMinutesWesterberg (April 14, 2006)

If I've never heard this band before, I'd have no idea what the record sounds like.

The word "acoustic" isn't even used once. And I've yet to listen to this record myself, so I'm not even sure if it's mostly or all acoustic.

Anonymous (April 14, 2006)

"It’s not to say that this album is completely terrible, there are just certain problems with it. For one thing, old fans' expectations are pretty high and this album just doesn’t live up to it."

Why?

Seriously, if you're gonna write a review, give examples as to why something is disappointing, not just that it is.

Anonymous (April 14, 2006)

Grammar, much?

Anonymous (April 14, 2006)

this review has some really really weird sentences

OzmanX (April 14, 2006)

ok

Anonymous (April 14, 2006)

Bad timing for Vagrant to release this at the hype of moneen and STD-fest (no pun intended).

Anonymous (April 14, 2006)

Turn Out the Light is an okay track but everything else sucked.

The New Amsterdams haven't released anything decent since Para Toda Vida.

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