Annoyingly, we started rooting for Nottingham five-piece after hearing I Found. A quietly disarming rock ballad, it showed that maybe there’s an indie band that can blend a sturdy vocal with a bit of heart. Not so on their debut album, which ends up being full of identikit student union jams.
Moments of inventiveness are rare and thus all the more frustrating – while the title track might not be a banger to match Katy B‘s song of the same name, it still pulses with some tangible yearning. But within the space of another song, Just My Soul Responding, we’re back to choruses that aim to fill stadiums but barely register as anything different from previous songs Hurricane and the Mumford-esque Noah.
Amber Run do have potential though, and they’re certainly more endearing than most acts their ilk currently bothering the chart. What they sing on Pilot is a little bit disconcerting though: “I don’t want to be the centre of anything / Just a part of something bigger.” The only thing they’re a part of right now is an archetypal UK indie-rock trope, so until they shake that mentality they’re probably going to be swallowed by something way bigger than they can ever hope to be.
5AM by Amber Run can be ordered here.