Truth in SincerityThe haunting, thunderstorm-implying intro to Amber Pacific’s new album, entitled “Rule #76,” is supposedly a harbinger of the album to come, and though it blends well into the quick-paced drumming of “Summer (In B),” it’s a bit of an overstatement. Not that the album is disappointing or poorly produced, it’s just not as groundbreaking or epic as a thunderclap might warrant.

What Truth in Sincerity has working in its favor is just that: sincerity. Even through the slightly over-produced vocals and music, it’s clear that this band is attempting to put themselves out there in an emotionally honest way that most pop-punk attempts but seldom attains. When singer Matt Young declares “I swear on my life, I will always be there by your side,” despite the hyperbole it still feels as if Young truly believes what he’s saying.

Coming in just over 30 minutes, this follow-up to the band’s well-received debut The Possibility And The Promise, runs quickly through its track listing, with aggressively high-energy tunes and driving hooks. The album slows a bit for the 45 second interlude “We Think We’re Hardcore, Cause Well, We Are” which bleeds directly into “Runaway,” featuring the vocals of Mike Herrera of MxPx. Unfortunately, the song is one of the weakest of the album. On the opposite end is the track “Fall Back Into My Life,” featured in the recent animated Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles remake. It’s got the kind of catchy, pop sensibility that is sure to get into listener’s ears and stay there for days.

Though not especially different or new, Amber Pacific has carved themselves a strong audience base, and  vocalist/guitarist Will Nutter says that they’ve “probably talked to 90 percent of the kids that buy our records.” That’s an impressive digit in this age of mass media commercialism and detachment. One of their songs (“Follow Your Dreams and Forget the Scene”) was even written for a fan the band met through the Make-A-Wish Foundation. With the lyrics “Caught up with the way life seems to make you feel as if to say I won’t make it through” and their sophomoric effort, Truth in Sincerity, Amber Pacific has proven that they’ve got the determination and skills to make it through.

Zach’s Rating: B-
Perfect For: A senior-year road trip
Stay Away If: You’re soooo over angsty pop-punk since, like, Blink182 became Box Car Racer

To purchase Truth in Sincerity, visit Amazon
For more information on Amber Pacific, including tour dates, visit their homepage

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