The New York quartet Ambulance LTD doesn’t want to be “stuck” in any one sub-genre of music. Band members Marcus Congleton (lead singer, guitar), Benji Lysaght (guitar), Darren Beckett (drums), and Matt Dublin (bass) draw their influences from many different sources from rock to jazz so they don’t think it would be appropriate to be labeled under any specific sound. The most notable of influences is Pink Floyd as Ambulance does a cover of “Fearless.” Ambulance manages to capture Pink Floyd’s original essence and mix it with modern rock zest.
Ambulance LTD also maintains a modern rock sound despite both their diverse musical influences — from The Beatles to Spiritualized — and their diverse musical offerings — from pop to R&B. As the EP’s only new material, both “New English” and “Arbuckle’s Swan Song” sound very contemporary. “New English” updates the rhythm of The Rolling Stones with a more indie pop flavor. ALTD, however, does an almost 180 degree turn in “Arbuckle’s Swan Song” with its ’70s R&B and soul tempo (think of a glitz and glamour-less male Joss Stone).
Make no mistake, Ambulance is still an indie pop band, but instead of inhabiting a singular sub-genre, the band seems to touch upon all of them. “Heavy Lifting” is a lovely, trim indie pop gem, crossing The Shins with Rogue Wave. “Sugar Pill” combines dance and electronic beats with a gentle new wave sound. Juxtaposed together as an EP, these songs work, but in a full-length album, some cohesiveness would work wonders. The songs sound almost too diverse, which creates a small disconnect with the songs to each other. It could almost be mistaken for a greatest hits package.
New English serves as a precursor to the band’s second album (they earlier released a self-titled EP and LP) that will be released later this year, so it will be interesting to see if some of these tracks make the cut. Please note that some of these tracks are demo versions, so any final version might differ (although they sound pretty good as is).