The sonic equivalent of Capitan America-meets-Swamp Thing is what comes to mind on first listen to multi-instrumentalist Eric Ezra‘s album, Amphibian, and it’s not just because of the cover art. Combining industrial-styled electronica production with metal drums and varying forms of guitar work, this next chapter in Ezra’s sonic story doesn’t need lyrics to tell it.

The Chicago-based self-styled instrumental synth rock artist known as Eric Ezra has been pounding out his grunge-meets-goth-meets-metal-meets-progressive (but not prog rock) work in rapid succession since 2020, with Amphibian being his seventh(!) album in four years, and that doesn’t include a number of interstitial singles and EPs. Chronically experimental, Ezra’s works incorporate some truly novel and haunting forms of production work and pair with guitar styles ranging from shoegaze to psychedelic.

Amphibian is Ezra’s most comprehensive album to-date, as it seems to not only be about experimenting but elevating the sounds he’s working with. It flirts with concept album whilst still being extremely avant-garde and exploratory. These tracks do somehow seem amphibious, clocking the life and times of the figure on the album cover. With tracks like “Automation” and “Mosquito” almost feeling anthropomorphic, the storytelling is rich and interesting as well as being musically sound.

The album amphibian is just a collection of bangers I wrote. There is some conceptual significance about the first track being called amphibian because it sounds like a monster walking through a swamp but other than that it’s just a lot of music. The song titles are just associations with concepts that songs sounded like to me. 

Amphibian is a step lateral from Ezra’s previous albums, with more integration of guitar and production and more concept work, but Ezra’s trademark heavy-handed-meets-melodic sound is still very much there. Fans need not worry about this seminal offering changing Eric Ezra too much. His work is just as weird and interesting as ever.

Independent Music Promotions Inc.