Pressing play on the self-titled debut from The Amazons is like ripping off a plaster. There’s an apprehension before clicking the button; so much hype and critical acclaim surrounds the four-piece at the moment. What if it doesn’t live up to expectations? But then you bite the bullet (or rip off the metaphorical plaster) and it’s one of the best decisions you’ve ever made.
Opener ‘Stay With Me’ could be seen as a plea from the band to keep you listening, but with riffs this infectious it’s hard to tear your ears away regardless. Like the entirety of the album, it’s recorded live, taking away a clinically polished sound and instead opting to create a raucous gig experience in your headphones. Rising from the ashes left by their flame-filled tour van, and subject of the album artwork, Big Suze, ‘Burn My Eyes’ is as ferocious as its name would suggest, confirming only two tracks in that the quartet have gnarly rock ‘n’ roll down to a tee.
‘Junk Food Forever’ was made to induce mass sing-a-longs in festival fields. With euphoria ingrained into its musicality, one can only imagine how exhilarating the atmosphere will be when this is played during their native Reading Festival performance this summer. Lashing riffs and building percussion make ‘Raindrops’ more fiery than it’s namesake, as an anthemic theme laced through the record owed in part to production whizz Catherine Marks, appears more prevalent than ever.
Hardcore Amazons fans may recognise many of the tracks on the debut, which could be met with some mild scepticism, however it would be an understatement to say tracks like ‘Ultraviolet’ and ‘Something In The Water’ have been beefed up. Essentially they’ve grown up, graduated and have just passed their driving test and are now more than ready to take on the big bad world to their fullest potential. Or to put it more simply; they sound huge.
LP closer ‘Palace’ is an unprecedented side of The Amazons we haven’t seen before. Gone is the quintessential primal percussion courtesy of Joe Emmett, instead replaced with a gentle piano ballad which brushes off the tribal ethos adopted by the quartet and highlights singer Matt Thomson’s vulnerability as he sings: “You and me babe we’re going out tonight / But all your friends say you could do so much better than me.” Unlike any other song on the album it’s delicate and requires handling with care.
Presenting a portfolio of some of the best ‘rawk’ songs 2017 has to offer, The Amazons have remained consistent and have begun to embed themselves into the rich tapestry of rock ‘n’ roll with a bolshy stadium sound. If it ain’t broke...
Words: Shannon Cotton
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