Amuse: “Life Sucks” – stellar and euphoric listening experience

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For the first time, since I can’t even remember when, old school Pop-punk is making its way back into the underground in waves. And even, what I would now call ‘survivors’ in the punk scene, Amuse are enjoying 2017 in the best possible way by releasing their brand new EP “Life Sucks”. Amuse has been around since 2001, writing and recording music, as well as performing with many big name acts. The new EP, tailored to hard-core fans and casual listeners alike, the egoless and vivacious attitude of the band radiate within each song, urging you to listen to all of its 6 tracks.

Starting off with single “Offend Me”, a frenzy of rock sound paired with lyrics that are oozing with attitude, both “F.U.Y.” and the title track “Life Sucks” follow suit and employ deliciously infectious choruses with driven guitar riffs as well as thumping bass and drums, supplied by Kaine Gibson (Guitar/Vocals), Mike Muse (Bass/Vocals) and Keith Tajc (Drums).

As well as being home to some classic-sounding pop punk anthems full of power, with “Tarkin” and “I Want To Believe “(In Me & You)” playing heavily into up-tempo, strongly riffed tunes pulsating with angst that’s enough to have you hooked.

And dialing down the attitude slightly, Amuse puts the vocals in the spotlight on “Toxic” through the use of a strong melody and muted chords in the verses while the singer croons, “We always fight / I never win / I built a ship and you made me swim / I swam my way right back to you”.

But while “Life Sucks” is essentially your classic collection of solid sounding pop-punk tracks, there are some distinct outliers with respect to many other indie recordings in this genre – recorded at Sonic Iguana Studios, the engineering, production and mastering work, done via the technical contributions of Philip Hill, Mass Giorgini and Greg Simpson is top notch, making for a tight and urgent sound, absolutely well above the norm.

Although there are certain tracks that stand out, there isn’t any filler on this EP. Each track remains interesting and serves its purpose. All of the members of Amuse shine on this recording, which is something that you don’t see quite as much in many other releases.

Listening to any of the tracks on “Life Sucks” the first thing that’s apparent is just how catchy this stuff is. Indeed, the fact that Indianapolis-based Amuse’s melodies and harmonies are so memorable is a testament to the meticulous hard work that went into crafting these songs.

I could at will hum the melodies to any of these 6 cuts, and creating music that ingrains itself as so on the listener’s consciousness is surely no easy feat. And while the main driving force is a guitar riffs, but Amuse prove that sometimes it’s the most deceptively simple melodies that are also the most effective, making for stellar and euphoric listening experience that can serve to lift one’s spirits.

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