By Patrick Dalziel (@JoyDscvryPaddy)
Some bands feel like an encapsulation of the era they came from. The Beatles/Stones sum up the psychedelic 60’s while bands like Nirvana and Oasis are archetypal of 90’s culture. Sadly, The Amazons are not one of these bands. Instead, they feel like the type of band who would openly claim to be born in the wrong era, pining for either decade previously mentioned, while completely missing the point of both.
It’s not that the music the Reading four-piece make is horrendous by any means, however, it’s just so undeniably bland. You’ve heard every song on this album at least once since the mid-2000s and done far better than on this debut which is a shame, as you can tell that The Amazons have the best intentions. Musically they’re capable and have an evident love for the genre, but sadly a repackaging of old ideas doesn’t make for interesting listening.
Take, for example, lead single Junk Food Forever which was first released back in 2015. The lyrics are tenuous, to say the least, (“junk food together, late nights together, jackets of leather, I can’t forget ya”) and it’s incredibly radio friendly sure: it ends up coming across as a very basic cut and paste guide to indie. The entire song moves along at a fairly consistent plodding rhythm, unable to produce the energy the genre is renowned for. There is an attempt of a breakdown towards the end of the song, which almost saves it but just lacks any urgency whatsoever.
Sadly, this becomes a trend on the album. You can tell what the band are trying to do, but it’s completely uninspiring for the most part. However, the tracks In My Mind and Little Surprise do come as enjoyable diversions from the dullness. The former is a darker track sure to appeal to fans of AM and Royal Blood which moves along at a nice pace with a suitably in your face riff and visceral charisma from lead singer Matt Thomson.
The latter is the most mature that the band sound on the record, everything feeling meticulously planned to fall apart here. From the atmospheric intro through to the final notes, it’s clear this will be a live favourite. It’s a punky diversion from the mundane, and a definite route that the band should look to pursue on further records though that’s not to say that each diversion from the indie formula works on here, however, with final song Palace feeling incredibly misjudged. Seeming incredibly tacked on and only there to prove they can be serious, this transparency leaves a very sour impression and makes it hard to put the album on again soon after.
It’s a shame that The Amazon’s debut is at best inoffensive as there is a good band in here, they’re just a bit confused on record. Instead of trying to replicate indie that’s been and gone, they need to look forward. If they harness the energy found on In My Mind and Little Surprise, there is a real chance that LP2 could stand to be one to watch. As it stands, their debut does very little to impress.