Bradley Mullis, A&E Editor
Philadelphia based Fight Amputation (or Fight Amp, for short) is a band that has been rumbling around in Savannah for years with their own particular brand of thunderous noise rock.
The power trio has put out nine releases over their 12 year tenure, including a split seven inch with Savannah’s own Black Tusk.
“It would not be proper of me to be in Savannah, playing at the Jinx, and not offer a toast to our good friend Athon,” said guitarist Mike McGinnis Saturday during Fight Amp’s performance at The Jinx. He downed a shot of murky liquor in memory of former Black Tusk member Jonathon Athon, who passed away in 2014.
The group has been touring in support of their 2015 release, “Constantly Off,” a record that has received praise across the board from publications like New Noise, Metalsucks, and even Revolver. It is the group’s first record in almost three years.
“It’s definitely different than it was when we first started playing,” McGinnis said, as he reminisced over the band’s early beginnings. “But those early years were definitely formative, and I think we’ve had plenty of opportunities where we could’ve stopped. I think there was a hump somewhere in the middle that allowed us to take a couple of steps back and refine what we were doing.”
While the group loves Savannah dearly, they hold their transplant city of Philadelphia close to their heart.
“A lot of our acquaintances come from Savannah,” said McGinnis “But within the past four years, noise rock really got a foothold in Philadelphia. We went from not really having a lot of venues to now being able to have our pick.”
Fight Amp has been looking for a different direction to channel their musical prowess into and they think that “Constantly Off” really embodies the results of that search.
“We definitely took a different approach to this,” says McGinnis. “We’ve been trying to focus on the structure of the songs and the hooks, really boiling down what it was musically we wanted, especially having jumped around on previous records.”
Simply put, the record is loud. Sludgy bass riffs pop up throughout songs, disappearing as quickly as they arrive for stone-cutting guitar parts to take their place as patient drumbeats remain the constant as song structures percolate and reside.
“We did all of the music for the album first,” McGinnis says as he walks through the strenuous recording process. “Then we took some time off from the studio to finalize the vocals, so that we didn’t do it all at once.”
The difference between “Constantly Off” and previous releases is clear. Fight Amp is still heavy, as per their trademark sound. But the material has become far more complex and intricate, weaving throughout constantly changing tempos, elements that are clearly represented in the band’s quaking live performance.