Occasionally you find an album by accident that has been out for a while that you just hadn't been aware of before, and sometimes these albums turn out to be unexpected wee gems. 'Haulin' Ass' by The Amorettes is definitely one of those!
Recorded in 2010, 'Haulin' Ass' is the debut album from The Amorettes – a hard rockin band based in Whitburn, West Lothian. The band have been together since 2009 and quickly gained a reputation for high quality live performances with a no nonsense sound, which has led to some high profile support slots with bands like Gun, W.A.S.P. and LA Guns, and the band walking away with the Group of the Year award at the 2011 Scottish New Music Awards only heightened their reputation.
Being brought up on bands like Van Halen and AC/DC is certainly paying dividends as the band have managed to produce ten hard rockin' tracks that any band would be proud to call their own. There's no soft rocky, soppy ballad numbers on here, and to the bands credit, there are no cover songs here either – all the tracks are 100% original songs that are absolutely great!
The album kicks off in fine style with 'Take Cover', which has a good solid guitar riff which builds the tension before the main vocal starts. Vocalist/Guitarist Gillian Montgomery's vocal style may be slightly unusual at first listen, but by the time the song reaches the guitar solo the vocals softens ever so slightly and you realise what a great voice she has.
The band have a knack of producing good, mid-tempo songs that have chorus' that stick in the back of your mind. 'Hot N' Heavy' and 'Whoot Woo' are two such songs – the latter being a firm favourite of mine, it has to be said.
The band is more than just that, though. Heather McKay has an extraordinary talent for picking out great bass riffs with 'Bedrock' being one of the best examples here whilst her sister, Hannah McKay, keeps the songs moving along with some good solid drum beats at the back of the mix.
'Pop Goes The Weasel' is a song in the fine tradition if innuendo-based songs without being crude, whilst 'Talk Nerdy To Me', and 'She Devil' are amongst the fastest of the songs presented here. The latter has Gillian almost struggling to keep the vocals in line with the furious tempo on the former, whilst the latter is a frantic hurtle towards the end of the album with its strong riff leading the charge.
The album finishes with 'Son Of A Gun', which is one last hurrah to leave the listener with. The blending of the vocals here is just superb and the song itself showcases how well Hannah and Heather, as the bands rhythm section, work so well together whilst Gillian manages to produce one final great solo leaving the listener wanting more.
All in all, this is a very accomplished debut album and I for one am looking forward to their follow up album – let's hope that it continues the high standard set here.
Hot N Heavy
Pop Goes The Weasel
Talk Nerdy To Me
Too Much Is Never Enough
Son Of A Gun
Gillian Montgomery – Guitar, vocalsv
Heather McKay – Bass, vocals
Hannah McKay – Drums, vocals
You can catch The Amorettes live on Friday 7th December 2012 at The Classic Grand, Glasgow supporting Attica Rage.