The Amps - Pacer

Album: Pacer
Artist: The Amps
Released: 1995
Rating: 4/5

The Amps were formed by Kim Deal in 1995 for fun with no plans to record. Kim Deal was originally the bassist for The Pixies until Black Francis/Frank Black broke up the band in 1993 to work on his solo career. After that, Deal then formed The Breeders, who in 1993 looked ready to have their big breakthrough due to the success of the song "Cannonball". Instead, Kim's sister Kelley, who was the guitarist for the Breeders, had to go into rehab for a heroin addiction. After seeing two bands fall apart, Kim decided to hang out and just play local bars with a few musician friends until a few of her producer friends convinced her to record with her new band. And that brings us to Pacer.

A total of ten producers and one producer's assistant worked on the production of the twelve tracks of Pacer, and usually in this sort of situation that would lead to disaster with the sound of the record being a nonunified mess. However, on Pacer there's a definite idea and goal for how the record should sound. All ten producers do their best stripped down garage band sound, resulting in an album that sounds like the work of one producer.

The songs are garagey pop songs, influenced by dream-pop and lo-fi. The vocals (female) are hazy, generally hard to understand, and not near the front of the mix. Most of the songs have light, strummy guitar playing with melodic, swirling feedback forming pleasant hooks, other than a few punky outburts throughout the album. The drums are very compressed and don't do much more then move the songs along, but it isn't really a problem while you're listening to the songs. They sound kind of like a more focused Guided By Voices with a female lead singer.

An album recommended for anyone looking for a good poppy-rock album.

Highlights: "I Am Decided", "Hoverin", "Dedicated"