|The Amorettes - 'White Hot Heat' (Off Yer Rocka Recordings)|
|Written by Gaz Tidey|
|Friday, 24 June 2016 02:00|
Garnering attention off the back of being arguably the most raucous UK all-girl band of the moment (Shouldn't matter about gender in this day and age, should it? Sadly it still does) and being hosts of legions of punchy lives shows, Scottish wild cats, The Amorettes, return with third album, 'White Hot Heat'.
If last year's sophomore long player, the well-received 'Game On', was meant to be the "difficult second album" it certainly didn't show: the follow-up to 2010 debut album, 'Haulin' Ass', managed to capture in the studio - via the famed knob-twiddling of Chris Tsangarides - the frenetic live prowess exhibited at many a festival and on the undercards of tours by such heavyweights as Black Star Riders, Europe, Thunder, Ash, Black Stone Cherry, Danko Jones, and Gun. Fans of the band needn't worry about the imminent release of 'White Hot Heat' either because, even though there's a distinct change at the production controls, this third album purely provides much more of the same from the girls, but with the ante upped and the quality enhanced. It's a natural progression and will disappoint nobody with a taste for this six-legged she-creature.
Recorded just a stone's throw from where I write this - at the shiny new Leeders Vale Studios in Ebbw Vale - with Nick Brine (The Darkness, Coldplay, Oasis, Bruce Springsteen) engineering and production duties handled by Thunder's Luke Morley, 'White Hot Heat' is a ten-track stormer that hits every mark expected of this band. It's polished courtesy of the production, but retains that frantic live feel that The Amorettes are now known for; the guitars dropping out come solo time leaving Heather McKay's bass to throb just like on stage - the four-stringer may be the "newcomer" to this band (Heather joining the group formed in 2009 by guitarist/singer Gill Montgomery and her sister, drummer Hannah McKay) but she remains the focal point of the band in the live environment.
Morley gets a co-write credit on a trio of songs - 'Crusader', the Little Caesar-like 'Pervert Alert', and the chugging pop metal excellence by way of a recycled AC/DC riff that is 'White Russian Roulette' - and Ricky Warwick shares a song-writing credit on the album's first single, the anthemic 'Let The Neighbours Call The Cops'. Yes, while those Donnas/Runaways comparisons may well simply be down to band member gender, the tongue-in-somebody's-cheek lyrics and song titles certainly hark back to the gutsiest, girls-against-the-world spirit of those seminal all-female acts - the penultimate track here is titled 'Man Meat', for example.
By the time final track, 'Stealing Thunder' (Morley in-joke?), comes around you'll be desperate to see this band live again; to hear this great set of tunes pouring out of a PA and making you forget your worries for a cool power hour.
Whether The Amorettes echo the short-lived notoriety of Rock Goddess or mirror the longevity of Girlschool is down more to the state of the music business than the band's qualities. Buy this record and give 'em a fighter's chance of more success. They deserve it on spirit alone; the top tunes are a bonus.