The Amazons: Anthemic Indie Rock With An Edge

The thing about indie rock is that it doesn’t really work if bands don’t have songs that are catchy enough for crowds to sing back to them. This definitely isn’t a problem with bands like Catfish and the Bottlemen, Blossoms, and even, dare I say, The Courteeners, who are short on tunes, but know how to reach the hearts and souls of their fans. At gigs, kids want to be able to put their friends on their shoulders and singalong to songs that are catchy, but that also mean something to them as well. For up and coming rock band, The Amazons, they should have no problem mastering this since they’ve already demonstrated this skill with tunes like “Junk Food Forever” and “Stay With Me.”

The Amazons are a four-piece band consisting of Matt Thomson (lead vocals, guitar), Elliot Briggs (bass), Chris Alderton (lead guitar) and Joe Emmett (drums). They hail from Reading and it was through this connection that I found out about the band. The Amazons supported fellow Reading band, Sundara Karma, who are one of my favorite bands at the moment, and they even brought out Sundara Karma lead singer, Oscar Lulu, on stage to play their track “Junk Food Forever”, to which the crowd went mad for.

They cited bands like Arcade Fire, Bruce Springsteen, Nirvana and Led Zeppelin as shared influences, though they do give shoutouts to younger bands like Tame Impala, Pond, The Vaccines, Bombay Bicycle Club and Arctic Monkeys as well. They do also mention their love of School of Rock too, which is always a win in my book! They’ve already supported bands like Sundara Karma, The Strypes and The Kooks and it seems there’s no stopping this band.

The band were initially supported by BBC Introducing in Berkshire, but their appeal soon became national as they received radio play from the likes of Huw Stephens, Zane Lowe, and Annie Mac. The band have a lot going for them as they are now signed to Fiction Records (Tame Impala, The Maccabees, Kaiser Chiefs) and they’ve already worked with two big name producers in the industry, Catherine Marks (Wolf Alice, Foals, The Vaccines) and Tom Dalgelty (Royal Blood, The Maccabees). They’ve also played some decent sized festivals like Reading and Leeds, Standon Calling, Kendal Calling, Y Not and Festival No. 6. Their press releases tout the band as being a rock, punk, and grunge group, even though most of what they’ve released so far can easily be put into the ever-expanding umbrella of indie rock. However, the release of their newest single, “In My Mind”, may allow them to shed the indie label soon due to its heavier nature.

Their debut EP, Don’t You Wanna?, was released last year and was comprised of four tracks: “Junk Food Forever”, “Millions (The Party)”, “Something In The Water” and “Ultraviolet.” It’s clear that “Junk Food Forever” is their standout track with its infectiously catchy guitar riff and those uplifting yeah yeah yeah’s and it’s a known favorite of Radio 1’s Huw Stephens as well. Just by hearing it once, you know it’s the perfect crowd singalong song and their performance of the song at Reading and Leeds Fest last year confirmed its status as singalong gold. “Millions (The Party)” is the EP’s heaviest selection, while “Ultraviolet” and “Something In The Water” are two anthemic, melodic indie rock staples. However, the guitar solo in “Ultraviolet” was a bit of foreshadowing for their new song, “In My Mind”, as it’s definitely got a good head-banging quality to it.

After the release of their EP last year, The Amazons brought out three new singles this year: “Stay With Me”, “Nightdriving” and “In My Mind.” The first of those singles, “Stay With Me” builds on the “can’t get it out of your head” quality of “Junk Food Forever”, while “Nightdriving” thrives on its lyrics with themes of youth escape and rebellion and lines like, yes, you guessed it: “driving in the night.” Jokes aside, even though the lyrics are quite simplistic (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing) there are some really great lines in there “No I don’t wanna die and I don’t wanna kill / but I will drive so fast that you won’t see me at all.” What kid wouldn’t want to singalong to lines like that?

Now, on to their newest track, “In My Mind.” I think that along with “Junk Food Forever” and “Stay With Me”, it’s, by far, one of their best tracks. It’s got a loud, contagious guitar riff from Alderton that comes at you right out of the gate and then Thomson comes in with energetic, angry vocals. Then, the chorus kicks in and Thomson (along with some backing vocals) seamlessly reaches for the high notes, until Briggs, Emmett, and Alderton bring back the noise. Keep in mind, the band did make a note that their drummer, Joe Emmett, was awarded the job because, out of the eight drummers they auditioned, he hit the drums the hardest, which definitely comes through in this song and the rest of the band’s tracks.

So, what’s next for The Amazons, you ask? Hopefully, soon we’ll get word of the release date and title of their debut album, which I’m sure they’re either working now on or they’ve already got it up their sleeve. Currently, the band are on an October headline tour of the UK, then, I hope the band follows fellow Reading band, Sundara Karma’s lead by making their first trip over to the states to play some kick ass shows because their tribe is growing (and quickly)!

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