Once again I’ve been struck by a bolt of lightning in musical form; Ambulance LTD are the Hephaestus that made the bolt that struck me. I’ve known this band for a few years simply as Ambulance but the fates intervened and the band was forced to add the LTD to their name. Despite the name change Ambulance LTD still maintained musical magic. The album, LP, is a fantastic mix of old psychedelic rock and new indie flavor.
The disc opens with “Yoga Means Union,” an instrumental track that slowly builds suspense in a wonderland of layers of guitars, bass, and drums. The guitars seem to mournfully squeal as the drums maintain a steady stream of intensity while becoming the one force that takes the song to less gloomy textures. That is until the sounds join together to produce a theme destined to be used for car commercials sometime in the near future. Following up the opener is the band’s first single “Primitive (The Way I Treat You),” which has this distinctly old rock feel to it. That feel is accentuated by lead singer Marcus Congleton’s talk-sing monotonous voice during the verses and his voice’s swift change into a somewhat whiny yet dreamy croon. The vocal intensity is matched by an addicting guitar riff and a single piano key being played over and over again. The piano key is very consistent in the background and manages to keep the song together as the guitars, drums and bass pound away in the foreground. Compared with the rest of the album this song is the heaviest and darkest, and not as lyrically based; more musical. The rest of the tracks have a lighter, dream-like feel to them while this track is set in the darkest stone. This is not to say it doesn’t fit in with the rest of the album because it does. Despite the heaviness of the track it still manages to stay true to the album’s overall morose yet hopeful demeanor.
“Ophelia” has one of the best yearning choruses I’ve heard in quite some time; “I hate the one thing I need / I just don’t trust you now baby” is sung with such a truthful downtrodden yearn that it cannot be refused. I spent months on end listening to this part and relishing in the complete beauty of that one line. Congleton’s voice meanders around creating this calm yet hypnotic vibe. On “Stay Tuned” the boys bring fun and lightness to a song about leaving; “I’ll come back some time soon /and while I’m away stay tuned,” these lyrics are sung in such a bright and breezy manner that it brought a sense of giddiness to my heart. It is honestly hard to maintain a cool demeanor when all of this thirteen-year-old girl giddiness flows through your body. Despite the fact that I wanted to squeal and jump around every time I heard the chorus, the song still had this ultra glum and lush sound to it.
I can honestly say that this is an album worthy of the ‘random’ button. Every song manages to have some catchy, great moment, and this alone makes LP an album deserving of your hard earned money. Buy it for the addictive, enriching “Heavy Lifting,” for the quiet splendor of “Michigan,” or the perfect for summer, laid back sound of “Young Urban;” but whatever you do, make sure you take the trip with Ambulance LTD.