Ammi
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Ammi

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"An Indie Rock Purist's Dream"

First the Felix Culpa, now Ammi. I don’t know what’s in the water up there by Common Cloud Records, but it’s causing people to churn out some ridiculously good indie music. Both of the aforementioned bands have not only had disarmingly good albums, they’ve disarmingly good debut albums. Once I can take for a fluke, but two? That’s pretty crazy.


In contrast to The Felix Culpa’s wild emo landscapes, Ammi takes a solid stab at indie rock with their EP Laodicea. The album is an indie-rock purist’s dream- traveling through all schools of indie rock without ever grabbing influence from any other style of music. There are slow, melancholy dirges (“Born”, which has a surprisingly snappy drum beat for a slow song); there are straight-up rock tracks like the invigorating “Faux”; there are dreamy interludes (“Greetings, Etc”, “Easy Listening”); and finally, there are epic, climactic barnburners (“The Nature of Apathy”, “So Close”).


The barnburners are, of course, the stand-outs here. “The Nature of Apathy” opens with a unique, sparse, dissonant guitar line that explodes into a clanging, punchy section, which drops back to the dissonant guitars, augmented by a tinny bell kit. Then, right when it seems that slow is the way to go, they break out into a wiry technical section with interweaving drum and guitar rhythms. That section cuts, and the singer (who sings excellently) breaks out into screams, which are done perfectly. He doesn’t overscream, or fake-scream; these perfectly-timed, well-placed screams do nothing but enhance the song, which then fades away after a few seconds of intense passion.


And while not all of their songs are that complex, they’re all immaculately planned and performed. The vocals (which I alluded to earlier) are well done throughout, as they are unique without being inaccessible. After hearing this album, I’m pretty sure I could pick out the Ammi vocalist in any song he sings.


Overall, Ammi’s got the indie-rock thing down. They play with passion, with creativity, and with genuinely exciting material. It also helps that the production is immaculate (who IS that guy turning the knobs on this?), and the art is beautiful (A member of Ammi did that too). Ammi is the next big indie-rock darling, if they can get promoted right. They’re just too good to pass up on.

-Stephen Carradini
- Independent Clauses


"Label it what you will, but definitely try your luck at Laodicea."

Laodicea, the title of Ammi’s album no doubt comes from the mention of the city in Revelations. As quoted by Ammi from Revelations 3:15-17(NIV) to the church of Laodicea: “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm-neither hot nor cold-I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, ’I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.“


I found Ammi’s album not lukewarm, but both hot and cold. Diverse, it is. And catchy too. I caught myself swaying to the second track titled “Born” and later struggling to get the words “Blue Screen Brain” out of my head after listening to the fourth one. The album begins with a short introduction of ambient music and then moves to the aforementioned mellow second track. The music slowly picks up the pace track after track until finally reaching (gasp!) a bit of screaming on the last, “The Nature of Apathy.” Label it what you will, but definitely try your luck at Laodicea. [Common Cloud] Frances Schoonveld


©2005 HM Magazine - All Rights Reserved

- HM Magazine


"Ammi is one of those rare bands who doesn't let their talent cloud everything they do"

Ammi is one of those rare bands who doesn't let their talent cloud everything they do. While they could definitely resort to stupid noodling or pretentious showmanship, talent has found its place in the creativity and variety the band manages to pull off, especially in an album that seems to have an interesting progression hiding behind the band's indie rock/post-hardcore orchestrations.

Laodicea is indeed a diverse record. While the second track, "Born," could best be described as a mix between the gentle emotions of Mineral and the swirling, semi-electronic atmospherics of [insert newest hip electro indie-pop outfit] with a simple mix of emotions and bits of organic qualities, "So Close," its followup, gives off much more of a radio rock quality to the voice of the lead vocalist at first - maybe even with a charming snarl á la Kurt Cobain - only to let the song's composition drop into a spastically jazzy rock feel.

"Blue Screen Brain" really seems to kickstart the darker portion of the record. Interlaced, distorted voices crumple under the singer's, and a lot of the optimism in his voice from the previous tracks has really seemed to die. The next song, "Faux," features the fastest tempo Laodicea has to offer, with vocals snidely crooned over chords No Knife would like back, please. Screamed backups help a chorus of line of "So! Faux! Life! Wins! / I said I wouldn't care / inside of my head / well I'm sorry so..." become pretty damned infectious, too. The closer, "Nature Of Apathy," has some strummed angularity and flat-out anguished yells on top.

The band's sound really can't be justified in any one description. I really don't believe the above gives such justice even after straining to compare, and just believing Laodicea has the ability to dodge most that are sure to come their way seems a feat in itself. Regardless, the EP has a rare, progressive cohesion to it, which, again, makes it interesting itself. While I feel like there's plenty parts that could work to whelm me better, there's a lot of cool qualities I'm liking, and I figure with all the overanalyzing they've pulled out of me already, an expansion on the complete package is inevitable.

- Punknews.org


"Here’s a fresh new Chicago band that plays indie-rock like seasoned veterans."

AMMI
“Laodicea” CD
Here’s a fresh new Chicago band that plays indie-rock like seasoned veterans. This album could easily make the jump from independent to mainstream. It has a very polished, safe, & easy-going rock kind of sound, But I like it. (LD)
(www.commoncloud.com)

- AMP


"Quick Blip"

HM Magazine May/June 2005- "Air freshener for stale space in the brain." - HM Magazine


Discography

The Hymnal Ep (Self Released) 2003
Laodicea Ep 2005 (tracks from this EP at myspace.com/ammi and purevolume.com/ammi)

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Bio

Balancing between the beauty of life and the struggles that plague it, Ammi makes a soundtrack for the everyman (and everywoman). Ammi explores many aspects of music, infusing dynamic guitar work with a gentle-yet-assertive bass and drums foundation, topped off with explosively convicting vocals. After self-releasing The Hymnal EP in 2003, Ammi have taken their new record, "Laodicea" and joined the family at Common Cloud Records.