Amber Pacific - The Turn

Review by Shannon Shumaker

I won’t lie, I get a little weary when I hear that a monumental band that I used to listen to years ago puts out a new album. It’s mostly because they usually either do one of two things; they’ll either stick to the same old sound that launched their career over a decade ago, or they change their sound completely and become almost unrecognizable. Amber Pacific, however have found the perfect middle ground, making their new record, The Turn an absolute must-listen. Amber Pacific keep their trademark sound (especially with the return of original vocalist Matt Young) but still manage to take on a newer, fresher sound that is sure to gain them some new listeners as well as keeping old fans happy.

“Undone”, the first song on The Turn featuring Mike Herrera of MxPx, is the perfect opening for this record. It has a guitar part in the beginning that really pulls you in and a very strong bass line that I actually had to listen to a second time just because it was so amazing. The melodic “woah”’s in the pre-chorus are absolutely perfect and when the chorus finally comes in it hooks you instantly. “Undone” is just easy to bob your head along to and the amazing vocals on this track are sing-along worthy.

One of the best parts about The Turn is that it never loses the momentum that is set in the very beginning of the album. The entire album is explosive and anthematic, even the slower songs, such as “Young Love,” the acoustic “Next To Me,” or amazing final track, “Would You?” and I think it’s safe to say that it has a lot to do with the return of vocalist Matt Young. His voice carries an amazing strength even on the more stripped down songs on the record, keeping the listener hooked on songs that would otherwise fade into the background. The vocals harmonies on The Turn are absolutely gorgeous as well, especially on “Young Love.” Another great, upbeat and poppy track comes later in the record with “You Get What You Get.” The amazing guitar work on this song coupled with the catchy lyrics and strong vocals make it easily one of the best tracks on the record.

Another amazing track on The Turn is “When I Found You,” which features guest vocals from All Time Low’s Alex Gaskarth. While I find that sometimes, guest vocals don’t necessarily make an album stronger and sometimes, they just don’t mesh well with the band’s sound, every guest vocal spot on The Turn seems very well thought out and well constructed. Alex Gaskarth and Matt Young’s vocals mesh perfectly on “When I Found You” and the overall songwriting on this track is perfect mix of pop and rock for Gaskarth to really showcase his talents on while not overpowering the rest of Amber Pacific at all.

To put it simply, Amber Pacific have absolutely killed it. Even though The Turn marks the band’s first new album since 2011, they’ve definitely proven that they’ve still got it. Amber Pacific has managed to evolve amazingly while still staying true to their roots, and that’s exactly what you want from a band that’s been making music for over a decade.

Review: 5/5

Listen to "You Get What You Get"