amps Pacer (LP, £15.75)label: 4ad
Released in the immediate aftermath of the runaway success of The Breeders’ platinum-selling second album ‘Last Splash’ and the Pixies calling it a day the first time round, The Amps are an important part of the Kim Deal canon. First intended as a solo project, The Amps instead grew into a fully-fledged band with Jim MacPherson from The Breeders joining on drums and Dayton, OH musicians Luis Lerma and Nate Farley on bass and guitar respectively. Releasing just one album in 1995 and after a whirlwind of touring with the likes of Foo Fighters, Guided By Voices and Sonic Youth, Kim returned them to the shelf, leaving behind one of her most intriguing chapters. A glorious record whose charm has only grown since release, ‘Pacer’ captures Kim energised by a new band and no pressure, recording with purpose in seven studios with a different engineer each time. The resultant record is both raw and undeniable, with Kim’s songwriting arguably at its most cryptic and personal. Don’t be fooled by its casual lo-fi veneer too, underneath lies one serious record that never dips or lacks purpose. With this first vinyl repress on 4AD, ‘Pacer’ is finally getting the reappraisal it richly deserves. “‘Pacer’ is exciting, gut-level rock & roll.” - AllMusic. “Tough-minded, raw-edged power pop.” - Rolling Stone. “Kim Deal is the Mona Lisa of alternative rock (and) in The Amps, she’s harder to read than ever.” - Spin.
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