AbsolutePunk.net
   Username
Password
 
Album Review
Hint: Follow a reviewer to be notified when they post reviews.
New Amsterdams, The - Story Like a Scar Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals N/A
Musicianship N/A
Lyrics N/A
Production 0.25
Creativity 0.25
Lasting Value 0.25
Reviewer Tilt 0.25
Final Verdict: 3%
Member Ratings
Production 8.5
Creativity 8
Lasting Value 7
Reviewer Tilt 10
Average: 84%
Inside AP.net

New Amsterdams, The - Story Like a Scar

Reviewed by: Garett Press (03/31/06)
The New Amsterdams – Story Like a Scar
Vagrant Records
April 4th, 2006
---
SCORE: {4.6/10}

Some records start with in irresistible winning number, and then proceed… to… slowly… fade… into… boringggg… oblivionnnnnn. Sadly, The New Amsterdams’ Story Like a Scar earns itself this distinction.

Clean, slow to mid-tempo songs, no problem right? Wrong. Where artists like Bright Eyes, Kevin Devine, and Rocky Votolato use devices to keep these type of songs compelling and passionate, Story Like a Scar dwindles on melodies often less than engaging.

“The Death of Us” is nothing short of the most heart warming song to come out this year, putting slow pace to good use. Thick strings and harmonica guide the song to a level of elegance, a very serene sound. Yet as the story unravels, the album title’s metaphor holds true… only, not in the sense that the Amsterdam’s probably intended. There are several good sounds on the record, but used to poor effect, and the songwriting gives us little reason to remain alert. Sure, who can resist Matt Pryor’s dry croon? It’s his throaty presence that saves face here, but can he keep you from switching discs when “Calendar Days” rolls around? A steep challenge folks.

Didn’t like The Get Up Kids’ On a Wire? Stay away. Get bored easily? Not the record for you. I know the Amsterdams can do better. With some kick in the flavorless production, and a few more hooks and spikes in the songwriting to make us care, these songs would be what they claim to be, more story, less scar. The New Amsterdams’ latest will need a miracle if it hopes to strike a chord on the heels of an April full of releases that rock.
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 57.
02:06 PM on 03/31/06
#2
LeftWideOpen
not another brick in the wall.
Offline
User Info.
LeftWideOpen's Avatar
i could not disagree more.
02:20 PM on 03/31/06
#3
yeknom
CEO/Webmaster
Online
User Info.
yeknom's Avatar
Get bored easily?...? Everyone can be bored with different things, I'm easily bored, and I can't listen to stuff Like FFTL, Matchbook Romance, etc because of it, but I don't think that being easily bored in general is going to deter someone from liking this album.
02:23 PM on 03/31/06
#4
merv the perv
Did somebody say bacon?!?
Offline
User Info.
merv the perv's Avatar
While there are surely some weak songs, Matt Pryor can still craft far better songs than Rocky Votolato, Conor Oberst, and Kevin Devine. Especially Kevin Devine. Don't forget "Turn Out the Light". That is the gem of the album in my opinion. The cd is worth buying for the first three tracks alone. This album is better than a 4.5 in my opinion.
02:27 PM on 03/31/06
#5
Garett Press
Offline
User Info.
Garett Press's Avatar
Originally Posted by yeknom
Get bored easily?...? Everyone can be bored with different things, I'm easily bored, and I can't listen to stuff Like FFTL, Matchbook Romance, etc because of it, but I don't think that being easily bored in general is going to deter someone from liking this album.
Well I find it surprising that you can't listen to Matchbook but you can listen to this. How is that not a qualifying factor for liking an album or not? I know people who can't listen to stuff like Sufjan and Death Cab and whatnot, because it's not as stimulating as an upbeat song with drive. I don't know, makes sense to me.
02:27 PM on 03/31/06
#6
Garett Press
Offline
User Info.
Garett Press's Avatar
Originally Posted by merv the perv
While there are surely some weak songs, Matt Pryor can still craft far better songs than Rocky Votolato, Conor Oberst, and Kevin Devine. Especially Kevin Devine. Don't forget "Turn Out the Light". That is the gem of the album in my opinion. The cd is worth buying for the first three tracks alone. This album is better than a 4.5 in my opinion.
We could debate Kevin Devine, but if Conor or Rocky wrote one song for this record it would be the new highlight track.
02:32 PM on 03/31/06
#7
yeknom
CEO/Webmaster
Online
User Info.
yeknom's Avatar
Originally Posted by Garett Press
Well I find it surprising that you can't listen to Matchbook but you can listen to this. How is that not a qualifying factor for liking an album or not? I know people who can't listen to stuff like Sufjan and Death Cab and whatnot, because it's not as stimulating as an upbeat song with drive. I don't know, makes sense to me.
I understand what you were trying to say, but when you say that something isn't as stimulating because it isn't as upbeat I disagree. I find a lot of slower paced songs much more stimulating than faster paced songs, I'm just saying that different things bore different people; Matchbook Romance bores me because poor songwriting bores me, not the pace of the song. Although, I do agree that this album was something of a dissapointment, I loved worse for the wear.
02:33 PM on 03/31/06
#8
Garett Press
Offline
User Info.
Garett Press's Avatar
Originally Posted by yeknom
I understand what you were trying to say, but when you say that something isn't as stimulating because it isn't as upbeat I disagree. I find a lot of slower paced songs much more stimulating than faster paced songs, I'm just saying that different things bore different people; Matchbook Romance bores me because poor songwriting bores me, not the pace of the song. Although, I do agree that this album was something of a dissapointment, I loved worse for the wear.
I hear you, but the songwriting is poor on this record, I feel. It's not just because of the tempo, these songs are dull mayn.
02:34 PM on 03/31/06
#9
yeknom
CEO/Webmaster
Online
User Info.
yeknom's Avatar
Originally Posted by merv the perv
While there are surely some weak songs, Matt Pryor can still craft far better songs than Rocky Votolato, Conor Oberst, and Kevin Devine. Especially Kevin Devine. Don't forget "Turn Out the Light". That is the gem of the album in my opinion. The cd is worth buying for the first three tracks alone. This album is better than a 4.5 in my opinion.
nope.
02:36 PM on 03/31/06
yeknom
CEO/Webmaster
Online
User Info.
yeknom's Avatar
Originally Posted by Garett Press
I hear you, but the songwriting is poor on this record, I feel. It's not just because of the tempo, these songs are dull mayn.
I understand that better, I just took your meaning in a different light.
02:36 PM on 03/31/06
yeknom
CEO/Webmaster
Online
User Info.
yeknom's Avatar
Originally Posted by yeknom
nope.
I mean nope about the first sentence, I'd give this album a 6. ish.
02:36 PM on 03/31/06
yeknom
CEO/Webmaster
Online
User Info.
yeknom's Avatar
4.
02:41 PM on 03/31/06
JunkBondTrader
Judas seems sincere...
Offline
User Info.
JunkBondTrader's Avatar
i commend you for being a good reviewer and using the entire scale. i stopped reading reviews because i figured if it was reviewed it was above a 8.0..it was ridiculous. And to the kid that think this dude can craft songs better than KD, RV, or the best CO, then you are an absolute fucking moron. That is definately one of the dumbest and uneducated things i have ever read on this website.
02:43 PM on 03/31/06
Garett Press
Offline
User Info.
Garett Press's Avatar
Originally Posted by yeknom
I understand that better, I just took your meaning in a different light.
Word man, good talk, I agree a lot of slow songs kick fast songs asses. =)
02:46 PM on 03/31/06
Garett Press
Offline
User Info.
Garett Press's Avatar
Originally Posted by JunkBondTrader
i commend you for being a good reviewer and using the entire scale. i stopped reading reviews because i figured if it was reviewed it was above a 8.0..it was ridiculous. And to the kid that think this dude can craft songs better than KD, RV, or the best CO, then you are an absolute fucking moron. That is definately one of the dumbest and uneducated things i have ever read on this website.
'Preciated JBT. Basically my method of thought used to be that 5 was a really bad album and 10 was the best, but what happened to 1-4? I really admire the way Pitchfork does it, and you can get a much better sense of the quality of an album, so I'm a try!
Options
More From This Author
Buy the Music

NEWS, MUSIC & MORE
Search News
Release Dates
Exclusives
Best New Music
Submit News
CONNECT
Forums
Contests
RSS
Mobile Version
Banners, Flyers, Widgets
HIDDEN TREASURES
Free Music
Video News
Sports Forum
AP.net Related News
Recommendations
INFORMATION
FAQ
Contact Us
Copyright Policy
Terms of Service
Privacy Policy
FOLLOW
Twitter | Facebook
PropertyOfZack
PunkNews.org
UnderTheGun
Chorus.fm