Ambulance LTD, Ambulance LTD (2004)

An indie rock one-hit wonder of sorts, Ambulance LTD released one surprisingly outstanding LP in 2004 (and a couple EPs), then quickly vanished.  Which is a real shame, because it was one of the better and most durable debut albums of recent years, highlighting a lot of paths the band could have continued to pursue had they stuck together.

The album is hard to fit into any particular box, veering quite a bit stylistically, but for the most part occupies space between melodic Britpop Anglophilia and post-Pavement indie rock, which I realize is a distinctly unhelpful description.  

Highlights include the hopelessly catchy pop of "Stay Tuned," the Velvets-ish dark, catchy groove of "Primitive," and the Gomez-like jangly Americana twang of "Anecdote."  Then there's the broad cinematic drama of the opening track, which would be a great addition to any soundtrack album, and the similarly dramatic slow-builder "Stay Where You Are."

The US version of the CD tacks on a cover of the Velvets' "Ocean," which may be a slight window into their influences (a later EP includes a live cover of Pink Floyd's "Fearless," another sign of where the band's coming from).

Anyway, it's a pretty solid album start to finish, not a dud to be found.  Makes you wish they'd stuck around a little longer. (The band's vocalist and primary songwriter later released a few low-key and below-the-radar albums as Drug Cabin, which are perfectly enjoyable.)

Here's the video for "Primitive":
And here's "Stay Where You Are" live on Jay Leno:

Buy it on Amazon.