It has been just over two years since US garage punks The Amputees stirred up strong attention for themselves with the Scream EP, its body and success building on the similarly appealing beginnings founded in its predecessor Commence The Slaughter a year earlier. Always a busy live proposition, now the seven strong collective of musicians return from the studio with The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Amputees, a four track roar proving their promise drenched sound has now come of age.
To be fair, the new 7” EP is also rich in further potential too, it more the beginning of a new chapter of exploration than a final destination in sound. From day one, The Amputees have never been predictable, in the style of songs, the direction an EP might go, or the line-up at shows but always the septet makes a potent and stirring impact and The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Amputees is no different; in fact it is the band’s finest moment to date.
Formed in 2011 by vocalist/guitarist Louis Ramos, the band consists of Gary Young (guitar), Kaleen Reading (drums/guitar), Carrie Ramos (tambourine/vocals), Geena Spigarelli (bassist/vocals), Soledad Alvarado (bass), and Nova Luz (vocals/guitar/bass); musicians uniting in New York City from various US states. Inspirations range from The Beatles and Fleetwood Mac to The Sex Pistols, The Velvet Underground and Black Sabbath to Nirvana amongst many; influences which no doubt go some way to the diversity of the band‘s sound and songs over their trio of EPs.
The new encounter opens with Al Hammer, the song hugging ears with a controlled but dirty guitar before launching into a fiercely rousing slice of punk ‘n’ roll. Louis Ramos immediately stirs things up vocally as riffs and rhythms unite in a combative yet infectious stroll whilst hooks come with a mischievous tempting. In no time a thick anthemic quality entices and grip ears and appetite, infesting its potency into the vocals too as fiery grooves and sonic enterprise add their tenacity to the inescapable contagion driven by confrontational rhythms.
The song is superb, alone sure to wake up broader spotlights upon the band, though the following Dogrose will pull its fair share of keen appetites too. A boisterous riff steps forward first with a lure which is almost Rocky like in its challenge and invitation, though the biggest bait is the female vocals which lay tempting tones across the emerging song almost as instantly. We cannot say which of the ladies provides the lead, but her tones only seduce as the song bristles and rumbles in something akin to Breeders meets The Passions with a touch of The Raincoats to it.
Ego dives straight in next, riffs and beats inspiring a feisty stomp as vocals and guitars spread their raucous attitude and tangy resourcefulness respectively. A minute and a half of punk ferocity, the song as its predecessors, also uncages the keenest hooks and spiciest melodic twists to grab attention and ignite the passions before Dogmother grumbles into view to bring the EP to a cantankerous close. Grouchy and compelling, band and song merges grunge and garage punk to infest body and psyche with a proposal which swiftly has you heading back to the play button once it departs.
As suggested The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Amputees is the band’s finest moment so far, and clearly so, such its step forward from those previously impressive encounters. The Amputees should be stirring up crowds and ears far from home and after their new EP escapes that might just begin to happen.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Amputees is released on February 13th on Money Fire Records.
Pete RingMaster 21/01/2016
Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright
For more exploration of the independent and promotional services check out http://www.zykotika.com/