Nothing compares to the genuine clamor of pure youth. Michael Feerick of Amusement Parks on Fire, now 20 years old, has made a record all his own, on his own, entirely written and performed just before the end of only his second decade here on earth. And it is as loud and artful as it has to be, to drown out this crowded world in 2005. This is not shoegazing music, this is stargazing music, bigger than itself, wise beyond its years, atmospheric punk rock space blues for the 21st Century. Welcome to Amusement Parks on Fire.
“There’s ample adolescent earnestness on the self-titled debut album by Amusement Parks on Fire, an English band that sings sentiments like ‘All you ever know is what they sold you.’ But it’s swept up in a whirlwind of guitars and guitar noise, or silenced in somber crescendos for strings and piano. This band prefers ambience to finger-pointing.” (Jon Pareles, The New York Times; January 2005)
Hailing from Nottingham, England, APoF’s early demos swayed none other than Portishead’s Geoff Barrow into signing the band to his Invada Label in 2004. No small feat considering Barrow is normally “rock-shy,” yet he was attuned to the band’s sweeping epics enough to realize this was more than just your average rock band, more than rock itself, but a force of its own. A giant sweeping effort, made by one uncommon young man—this was something rare.
“This debut is not the prog of tedious old arseholes like Pink Floyd, but the shimmering beauty of Kevin Shields, with a side-kick of…Sigur Ros and Spiritualized. Lick ‘Venus in Cancer’ with its crashing layers of fractured noise tissue, or ‘Wiper,’ which sounds like the sun rising on the greatest night of your life.” (NME)
Feerick is no longer alone in his pursuit. After assembling his band—Daniel Knowles (guitar), Jez Cox (bass), Pete Dale (drums—Amusement Parks on Fire won over the normally staid UK crowds last year with shows that quite literally blew people away with sheer volume and abandon. Sharing bills with bands like the Secret Machines, the Dears and Kaiser Chiefs, APoF began to build its current legend as a breathtaking live act, the uninitiated staring agape at these lads, wondering where the hell they came from.
“For anyone who’s seen APoF live, this record consists of the key elements of those…indefinably LOUD performances, interspersed with a couple of almost classical interludes that reinforce the genius-in-a-bottle waiting to be unleashed.” (DrownedInSound.com)
And so here we are now. May 2005. Filter US Recordings is proud to finally bring Amusement Parks on Fire to the States where an unsuspecting public will assuredly be as won over as our counterparts across the pond. This is now music—unlike anything else that’s “going on” in any “scene,” unlike anything else you’ve ever heard before. This is not something to “get hip to,” this is for everyone, it belongs to everyone. In Michael Feerick and his band we have youth and promise and beauty and the future of music.
“…I doubt anyone’s ears can claim to have received such a mélange that is equal measures sonic battery and aural beauty as Amusement Parks on Fire in recent times. Quite simply, this is a stunning debut record, a triumphant fanfare that heralds the arrival of yet another precocious young talent…” (DrownedInSound.com)