Amateur Historians are a three-piece band from Belfast comprising of Chris Curry, Luke Casey and Gerard McCorry. The band have plundered their sound from the mid-nineties American indie-rock scene; the quirky vocals, tight rhythm section and the distorted guitars are reminiscent of Built To Spill, Modest Mouse and especially Pavement. Their sound mightn’t be entirely original, but it’s certainly different from anything else that’s out there.
‘New Homes/ New Hopes’ is an EP full of energy and excitement. We’re So Far From The Sea, But You Look Like You’ve Drowned has a catchy sing-a-long chorus and The Party and The Aftermath features a swirly guitar riff that combines with a rushed vocal delivery to create an intense, emotional atmosphere. These Cities Are Stealing My Soul has no need for words in its chorus; a powerful, emotional shout is all it requires to deliver its message. The verse though features some rather clever lyrics; “it’s time to leave and stop fearing feeling free” and “I’m my own worst enemy but I wouldn’t wish this on myself” brilliantly conveys an urge to get away from the city with a passion that’s immediately apparent.
Aerial Route From Heart To Heart is a slower track thrown right into the middle of the album that allows the listener a moment to catch their breath, while Let’s Take Some Positives From This features a long guitar solo that is anchored by the excellent rhythm section. These more experimental pieces provide a refreshing change from the bursts of raw emotion that are laced throughout the rest of the album. It’s promising that already Amateur Historians show a level of versatility.
Amateur Historians are a band full of potential, and ‘New Homes/ New Hopes’ does what any good EP should do – leaving the listener begging for more. But if Amateur Historians are to live up to their early potential, then they have to prove they can maintain this high standard for a full-length album.