By Sheena Barnett/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – Before there was an album, there was an album title.
Actually, before there was even a band, there was an album title.
Back when Ash Williams and Sabrina Hawkins were dating, they were discussing the Phoenix brothers – you know, River and Joaquin – when Hawkins called Joaquin “the not-as-good Phoenix brother.”
Williams heard “the night is good Phoenix brother,” and said, “That’ll be our album title.”
Now, the pair are married, and they’re The Amber, a punk-blues-pop band. And just this month, the duo released “The Night is Good Phoenix Brother.”
“As the songwriter, I want to pick a sound, but every day I want to pick a different sound,” Williams said.
That explains the diverse yet cohesive sound on the record. The Amber finds inspiration in the White Stripes, The Smiths and Misfits, but still manage to sound like themselves.
The album features the fan-favorite “My God We’re Gonna Die,” the happiest, catchiest song about a doomed fate.
There’s the bluesy stomp of “Headrush,” and the early Springsteen feel of “Fire at Night.”
All of the songs on the album, no matter the genre, are infectious. Williams, who scores films for local directors, purposefully left in mistakes and its raw sound so it sounds fresh.
The couple recorded “The Night is Good Phoenix Brother” at their first home.
The Amber hasn’t performed a CD release show yet, thanks in part to their bad luck with live shows.
“Nothing ever goes right for us. Something’s always breaking,” Williams said.
“That’s part of the charm,” Hawkins added. “Drums fall apart mid-song. The pedal broke. We’ve never gotten to play ‘Fire at Night’ the whole way through live because something always goes wrong.”
Instead, the band hopes to film a music video or two.
The Amber is proud of their homemade record.
“I don’t want it to be perfect,” Williams said. “But we worked hard on it.”
“THE NIGHT IS GOOD PHOENIX BROTHER” by The Amber is $5 and available at theamberbandcamp.com.