Amber Pacific - The Possibility And The Promise (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Amber Pacific

The Possibility And The Promise (2005)


On The Possibility And The Promise, Amber Pacific have partially shedded most of their emotional pop-punk skin in favor of a more streamlined rock approach, and as a result, their debut full-length for Hopeless is a bit less derivative than their Fading Days EP, but the band is still essentially drowning in their suffocating pool of sound-alikes. While the record cleans up a lot of the band's previously horrific problems, like their laughably clichéd lyrical climaxes and overtly poppy arrangements, it only makes for a marginally competent, punk-pop record capable of little more than numbing background music like fellow token entries Don't Look Down and Matchbook Romance (without the pointless screaming, of course) or a third-rate major label-era Autopilot Off.

The opener, "Everything We Were Has Become What We Are," is by far the standout. Thanks to this misleading track (especially with its notably solid guitar lead) Amber Pacific will have you thinking you're about to experience twelve tracks of soaring, fair-to-decent double-time punk-influenced rock that's surprisingly heavy and an overall huge improvement, even if the string section in the bridge is a bit unnecessary. Unfortunately, for the rest of the album, the band falls back on a lyrically angsty punk-pop sound that's as "nice" as it is ineffectual. That is to say, the band has a well-produced, fine-tuned and precise style that isn't terribly executed - its hooks just fall flat on their respective faces, and it results in a rather forgettable record. Promisingly, "Postcards" comes running out of the gates with fast-paced drum-work á la Slick Shoes, and sprinkles more throughout the song, but even then, the song's invigorating moments are few and far between.

Amber Pacific are finally showing promise, but it's in select spots on their debut full-length. Their sound would do devastatingly well to expand on these hints of aggression and ambition (as well as undergo a healthy period of maturation), because the base AP relies on is isn't catchy or original enough, and ultimately too boring to survive on its own.

The Possibility And The Promise