Monday, November 4, 2013

Ambulance LTD - Shimmering Shattered Windows (Demos)

I know what you're thinking... The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Bob Dylan, Gorillaz, Wilco and... Ambulance LTD?!  I thought you were giving us music from our favorite artists, I've never even heard of this mystery band!

Well Ambulance LTD should be among your favorite bands.  Why?  Well, first, try this.  Yeah?  Now this one.  And this.  Oh, oh, oh this one for sure.  And finally...  Yes yes, if I haven't sold you, then you may now go to a different page.  Ambulance LTD is one of those bands where it just never made sense that they weren't blowing up.

Personally, their first feature length album known simply as LP is one of my favorite albums.  A band with a very fragmented history and progress, they finally began working on LPII after years of limbo, but their record label TVT Records filed for bankruptcy, giving all the rights to the acquirer, prompting Ambulance LTD to file a lawsuit.

Looks like they're back in limbo for now, but alas, I have unearthed some mighty fine demos from LP and LP II to introduce this fabulous band to you all!  I highly suggest downloading this set as it really shows their talent to write impressive songs even in demo form.

Depending on how the future looks for Ambulance, I may upload the demo version of LP II, as I have over a dozen songs that haven't seen release and are not featured on this demo set.  But for now, some acoustic goodies!

Ambulance LTD - Shimmering Shattered Windows (Demos)

Side A:

1.  The Dog
2.  New English
(acoustic session)
3.  James
(b-side demo from LP)
4.  I Don't Believe Anyone
(demo of early single)
5.  Love Bird
6.  Straight A's

Side B:

7.  Primitive (The Way I Treat You)
(acoustic session)
8.  Sugar Pill
9.  Stay Tuned
10.  Stay Where You Are
11.  Ophelia

The album title is a lyric snippet from the final track, Ophelia, "it's easier in the soft light of the shimmering shattered windows," which gives a good representation of what to expect from Ambulance's penmanship.  You will definitely get some Shins vibes on this collection.

The first side consists of newer demos from their sophomore attempt, which has yet to be titled, but I have dubbed LP II.  The Dogs, a quick yet inspirational ditty opens the tracklist, focusing on pressing forward and perhaps even revolution.  I kind of wish more of the lyrics focused on these ideas as opposed to love, but don't get me wrong, New English is a love song with plenty of incite, wit and emotion (not to mention a highly satisfying melody).

James and I Don't Believe Anyone are both from the first LP era, the former never seeing release and the latter being reworked into a single.  Though this is a highly acoustic experience, I Don't Believe Anyone is definitely more rockin' 60s-style pop guitar.  The atmosphere in James' vocals and downer of a jam is rather affective and helps this track stand out.

We slow down for the end of this side, firstly with Love Bird, probably the most generic song on the album, though still catchy and worthy of a listen.  This would be one of the tracks from LP II as well.  After this is the demo of Straight A's, which was the final track off of the New English EP.  I find this version to be better, honestly.

The second side consists entirely of demo versions of songs from LP, released in 2004.  The acoustic rendition of Primitive, though less immediately grabbing, is definitely a treat.  The version off of LP
may be a little more catchy, but this definitely does it justice.

Sugar Pill, the only track I have ever heard by Ambulance LTD that utilizes a turntable, is a super catchy almost dance song that tickles your eardrum, which is followed by Stay Tuned, an acoustic ditty and Stay Where You Are, a beautiful track to say the least.

This all leads up to perhaps the best track, Ophelia, again where the album title is derived from.  The demo of Ophelia is as solid as the officially released track with out a doubt, helping create as legitimate a way to absorb Ambulance LTD as possible.  I truly hope this opens your musical mind up to this awesome band that I heart so much.  Enjoy!

- blashco

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