A quartet who formed whilst at university in Nottingham, Amber Run played only their fourth show at Reading Festival, while also landing a support slot with Kodaline. Their debut album was released two years ago, breaking the UK top 40, and they are now releasing its successor. They tour throughout the month ahead, with a number of dates showing as sold out.
Beginning with radio-friendly indie rock, 'Insomniac' is an upbeat piece in which Joe Keogh doesn't sound unlike Tom Chaplin. Pleasant enough, it lacks bite, something addressed by the effective droning of 'Answers'. The more considered approach of 'Stranger' also pays dividends and 'Fickle Game' has shades of U2, though lacking the quality that the Irish titans regularly produce. 'White Lie' fails to build on a simple yet effective guitar line, before they find some success with the less formulaic 'Perfect' - when they crash in and crank it up, it is so unexpected that it works a treat. There's a lack of inspiration to the final third of the record, 'Machine' in particular taking too long to develop, but it's difficult to ignore the better moments from Amber Run. When they get it right they give the impression that they could create a wonderful record, so consistency has got be the aim next time around.