In their early days Ride sang with bread in their cheeks and swathed pop songs in shadowy distortion. As Amusement Parks on Fire, Michael Feerick follows a similar method, crafting this self-titled debut with an ear for the songs behind all that shoegaze-derived texture. "23 Jewels" is nothing more than a hushed introduction, like music in the ambulatory of a cathedral. But "Venus in Cancer" begins without a break, and it's all here. The feedback whining before finding the chorus notes and locking into place; Feerick's lyrics becoming elongated echo vowels but for a few thematic keywords or phrases ("Cameras," "It's all I care about...") It leads into "Eighty Eight," which is more of the same -- these songs are so tightly written, they'd suggest the Foo Fighters if it weren't for all that velvety racket. Another interlude drifts into the dizzy reverb of "Smokescreen," and its insistent percussion fights through the gauze. "Local Boy Makes God," however, has no rhythmic kick -- its five-plus-minutes are an air raid siren in an electrical storm. Evidently, Feerick was quite young when he wrote and recorded Amusement Parks on Fire all by his lonesome. That makes the recording's tact and pace even more impressive -- Amusement may owe a lot to the past, but it never sounds truly derivative.