The Amorettes: Born To Break – album review
Born To Break
Released 6 April 2018
The best band out of Scotland since The Almighty, The Amorettes issue their third studio record, Born To Break. Neil Johnson turns it up to eleven and annoys the neighbours…
First let’s get one thing straight, The Amorettes are not a female band, girl fronted or any other gender related stereotype of band. What they are is a brutally honest fast rock and roll band. Sure, you might want to compare them to some other female bands, but you’d be missing the point. The Amorettes are edgy, fun and punchy, just how rock and roll should be.
So, with that out of the way, whats the new record like? Given that it was produced by Thunder’s Luke Morley with songwriting assistance from Ricky Warwick and mixed by the sound magician Nick Brine it sounds just like you’d expect, pretty amazing. It has the raw vibe and energy of White Hot Heat, but with a more refined and considered songcraft.
From the first few bars of Can You Feel The Fire this is distinctly an Amorettes record, Nick Brine and Luke Morley have done a great job distilling the sound without losing their rough edges. It sounds alive and punchy, Gill Montgomery’s vocals lacerating the thick and grungy rythm from Heather and Hanna McKay with impressive clarity.
Hello and Goodbye starts with a great crunchy riff and a fun storyline. It reminds me of late nineties Liz Phair and in a good way. Clever lyrics over a well crafted song.
Everything I Learned is an utter delight, the Amorettes do this upbeat, catchy, hook laden sing-a-long as well as anyone in the business. Fun lyrics and a chorus that has you yearning for a stereo that goes up to eleven and has you singing along after the second listen through. I think that it may be physically impossible to listen to this song without developing a grin on your face.
Born To Break is a belter, stompy and shouty; likewise with Whatever Gets You Through The Night. Hell or High Water has a slightly more composed feel, not quite as raw but full of angst.
You Still Got Rock and Roll is a belter of a track, but has more than a passing resemblence to Ginger Wildheart and Courtney Love’s Honour. Enough has been said about this kind of resemblence before. I’m not suggesting anything more here than an accidental similarity. In any case, its a great song!
Easy Tiger and Bat Shit Crazy are both really good fun. Honest rock and roll with an edgy fun vibe. Easy Tiger has a super cool rythm section from Heather and Hanna McKay and Bat Shit Crazy has the lyric ‘Gonna dance like Patrick Swayze’ which somehow Gill manages to make sound uber cool (it’s not when I dance like Patrick Swayze). Coming Up the Middle, High On Your Energy and I Want It Bad carry on the raw, energetic adventure. The album is over all too quickly, it’s a seriously enjoyable experience.
Highlights for me are Everything I Learned, which is probably their finest work to date, Easy Tiger which is a gorgeous flowing odyssey of bass rythm and towering guitars and Born to Break which is an unadulterated stomper of a track, brutal and energetic.
The simple formula, guitars, drums and dynamic vocals have been a mainstay of rock and roll for years. It feels like the Amorettes are steadily mastering the formula, each studio record shows more refinement and yet they seem to be able to hang on to that raw intensity and livliness that make a rock and roll record feel special.
Born To Break is their best record to date. It’s not sophisticated or fancy, it’s not pretentious and it’s definitely not boring, This is honest to goodness spit and sawdust rock and roll. The Amorettes bring comfort food for your soul and everyone needs some of that every now and then.
They are just about to head out as support for the Dead Daisies, now that’s one show that’s going to be a bit special! If you’re at the Rock City show, I’ll be down the front!
The Amorettes website is here