Armed with raw and youthful indie-rock sound that promised great things, The Amazons swung straight for the stars when they broke through five years back. Their self-titled 2017 debut and its 2019 follow-up ‘Future Dust’ came crammed with enough stadium-ready hooks to seal them as a chart-bothering festival fixture, and it doesn’t take long to see the Reading rockers aren’t about to mess with the formula for album three.
Opener ‘How Will I Know?’ provides a guns-blazing note to kick off on, as tribal drums collide with a euphoric bassline. Penned immediately after frontman Matt Thompson had seen his long-distance partner for the first time in months due to the pandemic, it’s the most uplifting they’ve sounded to date. The singer told NME earlier this year: “It was cathartic because I wasn’t able to see someone I love for six or seven months, I used the songs as a way of communicating with my partner.”
A prime example of this modus operandi arrives in the form of the soaring ‘Bloodrush’, as he sings atop of punchy, rhythmic guitars, “Wrote a letter / Did you read it alone / Does it matter if we speak on the phone?” The sentiments seem sincere and the gusto is there, though the album’s lyrics aren’t always this personal or emotive.
Just take ‘There’s A Light’, a plucky and buoyant tune somewhat hampered by lines such as “I believe there’s a light at the end of the dark.” On the similarly musically strident ‘Northern Star’, Thompson offers the only slightly more inventive: “I’ll go anywhere you go my baby / You’re the light shining in the dark hallelujah / You are my Northern star.”
There are stronger moments, though. Thompson channels ‘Into The Wild’-era Eddie Vedder on the acoustic-driven ‘One By One’, which shines as an open-hearted beacon before cutting into a primal bout of garage rock from the Queens Of The Stone Age playbook. Elsewhere, the disco-flecked rock stomper of ‘Ready For Something’ carries the fired-up kind of bite and hunger that truly merits this band’s main stage status.
You might long for more of these moments. ‘How Will I Know If Heaven Will Find Me’ certain packs enough mainstream punch to keep the band on their perch as a British festival fixture, while also showing glimmers of what The Amazons are capable of, but it’s hard not to wonder what they’d sound like if they leant further into those more diverse sounds and influences.
Release date: September 9
Record label: Fiction Records