The followup to 2015's acclaimed Picture You, Ambulance sees The Amazing continue their journey to a place where music is free of restrictions. Despite reflecting Chris Gunrup's often bleak worldview, the music is expansive and beautiful, marked by playing that's as much free jazz as rock - pure music without any showiness. The songs unfold slowly, without a traditional verse/chorus structure, spinning gauzy webs of shimmering mystery with their own inimitable dynamic of sinuous, swirling guitars; rich, ambient bass lines; crisp percussion and restrained, church-like, keyboard textures.
The stately tempos suggest a room full of shadows desperately reaching out for intimacy, but never quite making the connection. The songs brim over with tension and more implied release than actual relief. Gunrup is known for his reluctance to talk about his process and prefers to let the music speak for itself and if Picture You was brighter, exploding outward to explore the limits of experience, Ambulance is much more intimate. The mix denser and darker, the instruments pressing closer, crowding each other, imploding inward to reconnoiter the uncharted distances that exist between us, even in life's most intimate moments.
"The Amazing specialize in a beauty that isn't airbrushed or slick or antiseptic... it's elemental rock – earthy, molten, aquatic, but uses each of their qualities to soothe rather than destroy or intimidate." – Pitchfork