Review: The Amorettes – ‘Game On’
Confession: I hadn’t listened to The Amorettes until I heard the news in 2014 that the band would be opening for Black Star Riders and Europe on their tour in the UK and Ireland. Obviously I should have given them a listen much sooner, because as soon as I did check them out, I wanted more: specifically their debut EP Haulin’ Ass, but everywhere I looked online it was sold out. My salvation was the announcement that The Amorettes had signed with Off Yer Rocka, and that a new album was in the works. So I waited impatiently, soothing myself with YouTube videos of the band performing at various gigs until the new album Game On was finally released in March.
Game On was indeed worth the wait. It’s ten tracks of blistering, straight-up rock’n’roll with a whole lot of attitude. If you’re looking for ballads, hearts-on-sleeves, and sensitive crooning you should definitely look elsewhere. This is an album that is all fire, defiance, and speed: Game On flies by in just over half an hour, and it is a high-powered and hugely promising debut from a young band that is sizzling with talent and energy.
The production has put some polish and shine on The Amorettes’ edgy energy, but this is still a crew that seems driven by some kind of barely contained, explosive power that punches through in every track. There’s a 1970s rock/hard rock/punk vibe here that makes me think of bands like Dr. Feelgood, Suzi Quatro, and Status Quo.
Things kick off in style with the power-packed “Bull By The Horns”, followed by a new version of their old hit “Fire At Will” – a blast of rock’n’roll pyrotechnics that has been cleaned up a bit from the original, but it’s still hot, hard, and catchy as hell with stellar drumming by Hannah and some fiery guitar-work by Gill.
In fact, The Amorettes slam the pedal down hard right from the get-go, and they don’t take their foot off the floor for the duration of the album. The defiant “Get What’s Comin” is full of brash and brawny swagger, while the dirty rocker “Hot And Heavy” (the second “old” tune here) speeds by like a bullet with its great chorus and Gill’s cut-you-to-the-quick vocals.
Other standout moments on Game On include the terrific bass-rumble on “Daddys Got Money”; the fast and fierce “Shoot From The Hip”; and the slamming “Give ‘Em Hell” with its kick-ass guitar- and drum intro. It’s one of my favourite tracks here, and Gill’s souped up guitar work is a big reason why.
Game On ends strong with the fierce goodness of “Heartbreaker”; followed by the absolutely delicious “Rock Me Roll Me” – another favourite of mine. (Watch the live version in the link below to get the full power of this shot of rock’n’roll adrenaline!)
My only complaint about this album is that the band’s sound has been processed a tad too much at times. Leaving things a bit more raw would have been better, in my opinion, but it’s really a minor quibble: The Amorettes have more than enough edge and fire to make up for that. This is not an album that reinvents any musical wheels, but then that’s not its purpose either. Game On is a hard rocking, catchy, hot and heavy (yes, indeed) release with enough spark and heat to convince me beyond any reasonable doubt that this a band to watch closely in the future.
And for a live-treat, check out The Amorettes live on STV Edinburgh with “Rock Me Roll Me”.
- Bull By The Horns
- Fire At Will
- Get What’s Comin
- Hot And Heavy
- Daddys Got Money
- Son Of A Gun
- Shoot From The Hip
- Give ‘Em Hell
- Rock Me Roll Me
- Gill – guitar/vocals
- Hannah – drums/backing vocals
- Heather – bass/backing vocals
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