Henry Barnes turns up with another AMPS FOR CHRIST record. And it is called CANYONS CARS AND CROWS; and if its lead track, “Earth Is Spinning”, is any indication, then SHRIMPER has gotten some classic AFC magic out of their latest release. Barnes (who you know from MAN IS THE BASTARD, yes) is 18 years into this mysterious melding of folk ideas and a kitchen sink of less-used-in-Western-music instruments and homemade electronics. Psychedelic, sorta, strange indeed, experimental and/or weird folk seem to fit pretty well. Both descriptors fail however, to full on capture the “other” brew of ideas and sounds that bubbles over with each new AFC release (in the past coming courtesy of stellar labels like 5RC and VERMIFORM, Massachusetts’ own legendary noise underground pillar RRRecords, and on multiple occasions in the past (as well as right now) the long running, and underground awesome California label, SHRIMPER).
The first AMPS FOR CHRIST release since 2006 puts you right into that woozy, hissing headspace that is emitted freely from the music found within it. Journeys led by beautiful guitar playing, agitated noise throb, and by Barnes own voice are available, existing to suit an array of moods. “Earth Is Spinning” winds fuzz perfect guitar tones around and around the acoustic guitar strum and insistent mellow delivery of Barnes dropping his two cents on climate change. All the while electronic fuzz stabs away instantly separating the song, and in general Barnes’ music, from the well worn and often barren path of millions who were able to get a hold of a guitar. AMPS FOR CHRIST is one of the best, if not straight up THE best, at conjuring that DIY electronic creations singing to no one but the moon somewhere from in the middle of the woods vibe. A rare vibe. And one I’ve always loved.