It’s been two years since Reading rockers The Amazons hit the scene with the soundtrack to my GCSE’s with their massive self titled debut album. Racking in success and notoriety from every direction, winning countless awards and well and truly establishing themselves as a band that isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. They’ve just dropped their highly anticipated follow up ‘Future Dust’ but does it live up to the hype?
February saw the guys release the lead single ‘Mother’ and it definitely did its job of getting everyone fired up with its statement catchy guitar licks keeping it fresh and sleek while serving up some grittier tones to satisfy the ears of both radio listeners and fans. Such a powerful kick of an opener. Carrying over much of that energy into the track ‘Fuzzy Tree’ one that just seeps classic rock ‘n roll attitude, without sounding like a bit of a loser about it, this track is one of those that just makes you feel like a total boss and puts that little swagger into your step. Just when you think it’s finished it comes back for another guitar fueled strike feeding your appetite for more. This track is undoubtedly a favourite of mine.
’25’ was another we got before the album and one that really hones in on the catchy chant-ability that’s to be expected from The Amazons, towards the track’s climax we just hear frontman Matt whaling the line ‘There’s this song’ repeatedly serving up some of that passion that we heard on the likes of ‘Little something’ on the self-titled. I’m very glad we get more of that raw emotion here on ‘Future Dust’. This track actually makes two appearances on this album one in the form of a Reprise, stripping back all the heaviness and leaving us with an acoustic guitar and Matts vocals along with some textures built up with a mandolin and a pump organ. It’s a strong number lyrically and you really get to recognise and appreciate that on the reprise.
I am a sucker for a good interlude, particularly as I’m someone who listens to albums in their entirety in order so when I saw there was a track coming in at just short of 40 seconds it was safe to say I was excited. ‘The Mire’ follows three very big and built numbers and just gives you a bit of a breather, helps you regain your thoughts but then also has this alluring sense of suspense for what’s to come. You don’t get enough interludes in modern rock/indie as I’d like, so for The Amazons to throw that in there just ticked another box for me. It blends flawlessly into ‘Doubt it’ a track that features a call and response vocal throughout, adding a light and even slightly playful dynamic.
Aside from ’25 (reprise)’ ‘All Over Town’ is the lightest track on the album, I’m thinking kind of like how ‘Palace’ sat on the first album. A slow moving number that lets frontman Matt lead the way with his vocals while still maintaining the richness in the instrumentals. A remarkably solid feel-good number that lyrically sits strong and personal with lines such as ‘Swapped the love I might’ve found for the dreams that wore me down’.
We are served up another 2 back to back deafening riff drenched bangers in the form of ‘End Of Wonder’ and ‘Dark Visions’. Both such bold and snappy numbers, ‘Dark Visions’ opens with some layered vocals, I genuinely restarted the track about 4 times on my first listen to rehear it. I can see it working really well live, I feel crowds will just roar it out, working really well as a pre-encore track to leave em chanting.
Pulling the album to a close we have the final track ‘Georgia’ a bit of a more relaxed vibe here in comparison to the majority of the album, opening with an acoustic guitar before incorporating the rest of the band very much reminiscent of ‘Holy Roller’ from the self-titled in a sense. A very steady pace here, it does come in at almost 6 minutes but surprisingly doesn’t feel bulky or as if it’s dragging, they really utilised that time perfectly, and It assists in it feeling like more of a journey of a track than a big hard hitting number. Something I absolutely bloody love about this is it ends in a fade out, it works so well in building up this stunning anthemic texture weaved of the bass, drums, guitar and Matts light background repetition of ‘Georgia’ before just slowly over a 20 second or so period just fading out.
Overall a much bolder, intense sound, I’m not particularly what I expected coming into this album whether they were going to take it in a more commercial direction or stick to their rockier roots and while the sound is heavier it still has that catchy, feel-good vibe that originally drew me to the self-titled. I definitely feel there is more confidence here on Future Dust and that’s really nice to hear, it’s got a very classic good old rock ‘n roll essence to it but then Matts vocals add a sense of modernity. I have to admit when I first heard this album I wasn’t too sure if it was going to be on par with how I feel about the self-titled but as I write this probably 5th or 6th listen in it’s definitely one I am going to be coming back to time and time again, it’s just got that repeatability factor to it where you feel like you’re picking up on something new every single time. Also I can’t end this review without mentioning Catherine Marks who produced this album, she is someone I admire hugely and she has really knocked it out of the park here, it’s such a well put together and thought out record.
It’s definitely not a difficult second album from The Amazons
Release Date- 24 May, 2019