[sic] Magazine

Amusement Parks On Fire – An Archaea

An Archaea is the new album from UK rock/gaze act Amusement Parks On Fire. It’s’ their first long player for a decade. Whilst mainstay Michael Feerick has dabbled in other projects and the band has dropped two terrific new EPs over the 2017 -2018 period, this is their first statement of intent since their self-proclaimed ‘88 month moratorium’. It sure was worth the wait. An Archaea is bursting with ideas and intent.

For a band that categorises itself as ‘art rock’ Amusement Parks On Fire have, to date strongly recalled the better exponents of shoegazing. I’m put in mind of Swervedriver, of a pre Wake Up Boo Radleys, of the Ferment into Chrome period Catherine Wheel, and even early Teenage Fanclub. They capture that transatlantic ‘gazer sound but are not confined or limited by the genre – and just like those aforementioned legends there are melodies galore hidden behind the effects and afterburners.

Amusement Parks On Fire haven’t cheated us here. They have not included any of the EP tracks from Our Goal to Realise or All The New Ends. There was no need. The ten tracks here had to be this album because An Archaea is more than just a collection of songs. It’s a body of work, a whole. There’s a progressive element here both within the compositions themselves and to the segues between tracks that’s not unlike say, Mew, Girls In Hawaii or even Radiohead on something like ‘Aught Can Wait’. As such, I more understand the art rock stance. Not because the record is a particularly challenging or impenetrable to listen to. Far from it but rather the ambition and scope on display here. Witness the swirling, giddying standout, ‘Breakers’.

I gather an ‘Archaea’ is a single cell organism. I’m also convinced I heard Feerick sing ‘I’m an amoeba. Cut me in half’ toward the end of the album so there’s definitely something cellular in play here, thematically. But ‘Back to basics’ this is not. Confident, ambitious, sprawling… An Archaea suggests life teeming with myriad directions and possibilities. That’s Amusement Parks On Fire, here and now.

Astonishing.

PRE-ORDER on Pink Marbled Vinyl* via the Bandcamp link** Expected early September 2021. CD and digital available now.

Bandcamp

All The New Ends

Our Goal To Realise

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