Release Date: Oct 22, 2012
Record label: Partisan
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock
Gentle Stream is the kind of album that's going to help you get through the winter. As the weather turns colder, there’s an undeniable comfort to be had in immersing yourself in an album that wants to be nothing other than what it is: a luscious, long and hazy dip back into summery warmth. But be warned – The Amazing’s summer memories seem to stretch back a good few decades.
The Amazing opened their self-titled debut album with an inspired reworking of a song from Fleetwood Mac's little-known post-Peter Green, pre-Buckingham/Nicks period. Named for 1968-72 Mac singer-guitarist Danny Kirwan, "The Kirwan Song" set a precedent for playing spot-the-references that the Swedish band's history-bursting blend of pastoral-England-meets-Laurel-Canyon psych-pop and folk-rock only invites further. Throw in a lineup that includes members of Swedish-language psych-rock monsters Dungen, and you could be forgiven for wondering if liking this stuff requires Talmudic knowledge of, say, the 80s Paisley Underground movement.
The second full album by the Amazing finds the onetime side project settling further into its own existence, as the Swedish band embraces a wide temporal range of sonic touchstones revolving around the idea of lush delicacy. The title track starts the album with a sweet glaze of acoustic and electric guitars that sounds like the kind of '90s bands that loved the Cocteau Twins a little more in their later phase. It's a bit shoegaze but never heavily so, keyboards adding a bit of extra bliss and zone while the drums act as a bit of a secret punch.
The Amazing are a Swedish quintet who play a type of meandering lite-rock that is, for some reason, billed as “psychedelic”, perhaps because “psychedelic” sounds more interesting than “meandering lite-rock”. There is little to suggest psychedelia here: no studio wizardry or unexpected sounds or extreme swings in dynamics or time signatures or — well, anything, really. The band’s prevailing sound consists of acoustic and electric guitars coalescing into a pleasant but undemanding sonic stew, underpinned by syrupy bass and tight drumming.