The Amps – Pacer

What I Think of When I Think of This Artist

There is no way you’re talking me out of the position that this is the third Breeders album. It is no further removed in sound from Pod and Last Splash than either Title TK or Mountain Battles, and far more enjoyable than both those later albums combined. Also, it has Breeders drummer Jim McPherson. And this album’s “Full On Idle” was included on Title TK. Plus, the Amps never released another album. This band is effectively the Breeders. Fight me.

What I Think of This Album

This is a great album. It covers the same basic ground as Last Splash – some honey-soaked, summer night songs (“Pacer,” “Dedicated,” “Bragging Party”); some noisy weirdness (“Tipp City,” “Hooverin,” “Empty Glasses”); and a few melodic rockers (“I Am Decided,” “Full on Idle,” “She’s a Girl”). The story goes that “I Am Decided” was an amalgamation of two Guided by Voices songs that Robert Pollard gave her permission to use. Undoubtedly, Deal won some kind of bet with Black Francis/Frank Black/Charles Thompson IV whereby he gave her the song title “Breaking the Split Screen Barrier.” By the way, I don’t remember if I’ve actually been to Tipp City or just traveled very close by, but I can tell you with confidence that southwest Ohio natives just refer to it as “Tipp.” In service of this great batch of songs, Deal’s voice sounds fantastic, with just the right amount of grit to balance out the sweetness. The playing is tough and confident, and everyone sounds like they are having a blast. Better watch your ass, indeed.

The Best Thing About This Album

The song title “Mom’s Drunk” always makes me laugh. Never fails.

Release Date

October, 1995

The Cover Art

Pretty good. I like the color scheme and the blurry photo. I like the use of all CAPS. The absence of the title is unusual. I am not a fan of the white lines creating a rectangle in the upper right that serves no purpose.

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