August 16, 2007

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Amber Dust, Without Windows
self-released

Sandown has something to be proud of in this bedroom Americana trio of early-20somethings. Influenced by Ryan Adams (a little) and a clutch of easygoing folk-alt records you’ve never heard of, such as the Sun Kil Moon family of products (a lot), the songwriting is mature and serious enough to compete with — blow away, actually – many of the bands trying to mine gold out of the British folk-pop space. Chris Isaak would admire their use of spaghetti-western guitars and booze-time tempos, though those only surface when they’re of a feisty mood; mostly it’s an exercise in strumming and pining along to the drum machine, country figuring into the equation in small doses. “Timepiece” is one of the more agreeable tunes, floating a supremely unhurried vibe reminiscent of EastMountainSouth. The barter-economy-savvy band has made the entire 13-song LP (voted #33 in the Altcountrytab.ca Gambler Awards) available on their Web site (www.amberdustmusic.com). A-Eric W. Saeger