Tuesday 27 September 2022

The Amblers - Shallow Pools Deluxe Edition (Album Review)

Date Released: September 30th 2022. Record Label: Lay Bare Recordings. Formats: DD/Vinyl

Shallow Pools (Deluxe Edition): Tracklisting

Sticks And Stones

Keep Me Screamin'

Shallow Pools

Dusting Man

Ratty Old Mo'

Forgive Me

Sixteen 100 Year Olds


Birds And The Bees

The Day I Gave My Sister Away

Just Get Me To Bed


Justin Swart - Vocals/Guitars

Jason Hinch - Drums


South African Psych/Blues/Fuzz Rockers The Amblers are releasing a deluxe eidtion of their acclaimed 2018 release Shallow Pools. An album that is getting the Vinyl Treatment courtesy of ace Dutch Record Label Lay Bare Recordings. 

Shallow Pools is an exciting mix of different hard rock styles from the last fifty years with The Amblers adopting a "less is more" or minimalist approach to the music that sees the band take influence from multiple Jack White projects such as The Raconteurs and The White Stripes. Throw in other sounds from bands such as QOTSA and FUZZ then you still only feel or hear half the picture that The Amblers are trying to create here. An essential Garage Rock presence can be heard on tracks such as: Stick and Stones, Keep Me Screamin', Shallow Pools, Ratty Old Mo' and Sixteen 100 Year Olds.

The Amblers are well known within the South African Underground Rock scene and have slowly been gaining a fantastic reputation within the European Underground scene with various releases. Perhaps why Lay Baye Recordings are releasing Shallow Pools on vinyl.

The Amblers have a feel of genuine warmth, love and appreciation for their musical heroes and influences on this album. The instrumental work is sublime with The Amblers bringing a solid lo-fi DIY vibe to their style of Classic Hard Rock that may show the odd Stoner groove here and there. 

Justin's vocals are calm and essential as ever especially on the later stages of the album with tracks such as; Sometimes, Birds And The Bees, They Day I Gave My Sister Away and Just Get Me To Bed. All great songs showcasing having an organic warm sound and feeling to them. 

Jason's drums are superb with his heavy beats matching the "less is more" approach of Justin's guitars but adding real weight in the VOLUME DEPARTMENT. The FUZZY and SCUZZY sounds are plentiful and if you're here for the MIGHTY RIFF then The Amblers don't skimp in that department either. The album can be quite FOLK ROCK in places which can hold back the album in certain ways. However, The Amblers impress with the rest of the creative choices held on the album.

Shallow Pools is a highly confident affair that allows The Amblers to have a major SWAGGER in their steps. With Lay Bare Recordings helping them to gain a much wider audience, The Amblers could be forging exciting new opportunities and possibilities for themselves. If that leads to new music then I'm all for it.

The Amblers are one of the best Hard Rock bands from the South African scene. Shallow Pools is proof of that and long may it continue.

Excellent and Highly Recommended.

Words by Steve Howe

Thanks to Warren at Plug Music PR for the promo.

Shallow Pools will be available to buy on DD/Vinyl via Lay Bare Recordings from September 30th 2022.


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