Amos Key: First Key
This entry will include the biography I wrote and the review.
A classically influenced, and keyboard driven band from Germany. The lineup consisted of Thomas Molin (keyboards, vocals), Andreas Gross (bass, guitar, vocals), Lutz Ludwig (drums).
Their only release remains 1973’s ‘First Key.” To show their reverence for the masters, the album was dedicated to Bach, Beethoven, and Shumann. They are mostly compared to Eskeption and The Nice.
Unlike many of their contemporaries, they favored shorter songs over longer epics. Around 1975 Amos Key again entered the studio to record another album. Unfortunately it was not to be. The album was never finished, but a few demos have come to light. Since that time, little is known about the band members.
“First Key” is another one of those obscure, one-album gems. It is keyboard, bass, and drum, with emphasis on keyboards. There is some sparsely used guitar, but you’ll have to listen closely to find it.
The obvious influences are Deep Purple (they even do a little homage in the middle of “Got the Feeling”), and especially E.L.P. Where E.L.P. would lighten the mood with an occasional novelty song, this band is able to maintain a bit of lightheartedness throughout. This is not to say it isn’t serious music. There are times that even get a bit dark. The overall sense is that these guys refuse to take themselves too seriously. What all this means is that “First Key” is a lot of fun to listen to.
The music is complex, but very accessible. These are three talented musicians. The keyboards are immediately obvious, but the drums and bass almost take you by surprise. The music flows along, and then suddenly I notice how tight the drum part is. In the next moment, a machine gun bass line grabs my attention. The vocals could be stronger. Sometimes the accent is a bit heavy, and the mix is too low. However, it doesn’t detract from the enjoyment. But enough of that, it’s not wise to dissect it too much. As I said, this is fun stuff. Best to let the whole experience flow over you.
The basic sound may be derivative, but the attitude is genuine. It’s too bad they only recorded one album. An entire career by Amos Key could have been something special. Try to find it if you can. It may not be essential, but it would definitely enhance any prog collection.
Thomas Molin – keyboards, vocals
Andreas Gross – guitar, bass, vocals
Lutz Ludwig – drums