The guitars quiver, the drums reverberate, the tension builds. It can only be one thing: the opening to The Amazons‘ second album – Future Dust.
More specifically, those are the opening bars of lead single ‘Mother‘ which we reviewed back in February. It’s somewhat of a statement piece for the Reading quartet. They’ve upped the swagger, the confidence, and the volume. The result is an awe-inspiring track which brushes aside your preconceptions of what The Amazons are capable of, leaving them free to experiment for the rest of the album.
‘Fuzzy Tree‘ is another pulse raising number, memorable for it’s staccato intro and rollicking central riff which is wonderfully deep and guttural, echoing through your body like an earthquake.
I wasn’t sold by ‘25‘ when it was first released as a single, but it has since grown on me. It’s got more of a rock and roll western feel to it, which builds to an almighty climax. Live, it should be something to behold, with crashing cymbals and screaming guitars blasting over the crowd.
‘Doubt It‘ is one of the highlights of Future Dust. The verse is a brooding affair, kept moving along by the drum rhythm which shuffles between driving kick and snare beats and an offbeat hi-hat. The choruses, by contrast, seem to suck up all that pent up energy and exhale it in an epic, soaring release. Lyrically, the track seems to tackle with the issue of dwelling on past mistakes, and feeling like you can’t escape from them.
There are few weak moments on this record, it has to be said. ‘All Over Town‘, for instance, is a track I feel like I’ve heard a thousand time on every indie rock album from the past decade. ‘25 (Reprise)‘ feels a little unnecessary and self-indulgent. It doesn’t really add extra layers to ‘25‘, or to the album as a whole.
Aside from one or two wobbly moments, Future Dust really does hold its own though. Later on in the track listing, ‘End Of Wonder‘ and ‘Georgia‘ act as particular highlights. The former traces similar patterns to ‘Mother‘ and ‘Doubt It‘ – big, sexy, swaggering rock and roll characterised by taut guitars and anthemic drumming. I haven’t actually mentioned it yet, but Matt Thomson’s vocals are just as impressive throughout this record as they were on the band’s self titled debut. His voice has such a rounded, wholeness to it. He achieves amazing volume and range, while never sounding like he is stretching or strained.
Overall, Future Dust is a very different record to The Amazons. While both albums share a sense of purpose and an abundance of passion; this second effort is far more self-aware. The Amazons have managed to channel and focus their youthful energy into something more mature and confident. It’s a big step to take, one some bands never quite take. So congratulations are in order for The Amazons, for an album which will stand them in good stead as a platform to grow in the future. Well done lads.
Sounds Like… a living, breathing, leather jacket