Amber Room What We Saw

By his own admission, the Amber Room front-man Shawn Tucker has found many of his musical influences coming from the UK, and I suspect that it is even possible to be more specific than that. They are trying very hard to sound like Radiohead and at times they achieve that goal. What We Saw is a remarkably accomplished debut album that attempts to make every song of epic quality with layer upon layer of soaring guitars and vocals, and to a certain degree they succeed. It was recorded at the Warehouse in their native Vancouver, a studio that has also played host to the likes of R.E.M. and that has definitely reflected in the finished product. At times, the Amber Room try a little too hard to be mysterious and enigmatic, but it comes over as slightly pompous. While falling short of their idols, What We Saw is still a strong debut and preferable to most of the other Canadian bands who currently assume the position that the Amber Room long to occupy. (Independent)