Wednesday, August 8, 2012

EP Review: Amida-My Life as a Trashcan

Amida are crude. At least, more so than other English guitar pop bands. Rather than romanticize the world or disguise their true feelings of it in a twee fashion, Amida cut quickly and directly, not necessarily discarding lyrical wit or creativity (which the band actually has in large quantities), but at the same time they don’t mince words either. That’s clear from the title track, the speedy earworm that opens the band’s fourth EP My Life as a Trashcan. As the chicken wire riff cuts into the brain, lead singer John Ammirati recounts the horrors of the world he has experienced so far, feeling reduced to the equivalent of human trash. The song also happens to be one of the best indie pop songs of the year, confirming that Amida have quite excellently honed their craft over their four years together.

The rest of the E.P. continues and diverges from the opening starting point. The rest of the songs showcase the fact that the opening cut was in no way a fluke, blasting out more equally catchy, treble guitar gems that I’m surprised haven’t appeared on an underappreciated Slumberland seven inch yet. At the same time the band takes a breather and steps out into other musical directions such as the slow jam of “Thank Constantine” or the country-esque waltz of “Let Me Do This For You”. While they definitely feel different, it’s a small testament to the band that they manage to make them work along the rest of the songs. “Let Me Do This for You” especially has a feel to it not unlike Pavement’s “Father of a Sister of a Thought” in seeming initially mildly absurd before eventually making sense upon repeated listens.

The lyrical content shifts as well over the seven songs as well, from personal to everyone else. This in turn showcases how snotty the band is, or at least how deeply they are putting their tongues in their cheeks. The band almost seems to be mocking the coyness/sweetness usually found in indie-pop lyrics. No band in recent memory has had a line as outlandish as “The party led to drinks/Which led to sex/Which led to AIDS/Which led to death”. Elsewhere there are songs whose chorus are mostly made of repeating lines like “I really never liked you anyway” (“A New Low”) or making just flat out direct in the title such as with the post-punky “They Breathe Gas for Airs so We Lit a Match”.

While this all seems like a bunch of immaturity, the band never feels like kids trying to grab attention. They fully know what they are doing. Just look at the closing track “Reversal of Fortune” and its inherent (if slightly gore filled) sweetness, which proves that Amida can make kind and shimmering songs with the rest of them. However, what makes My Life as a Trashcan so appealing is that it isn’t a case of growing up, but adults embracing childish antics to say something a little different.


Amida’s Tumblr
Buy the My Life as a Trashcan EP here, from Jigsaw Records

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