Album Review: The Amorettes – “Born To Break”
Fourth album from Glasgow’s answer to Airbourne, Born To Break sees the continuing evolution of The Amorettes from their raw scuzzy shoutalong origins into a slick bubblegum glam rock outfit. It hasn’t always been the easiest ride though – after the sheer adrenalin rush of their second album and high point to date, 2015’s Game On, 2016’s White Hot Heat was a bit of an awkward effort, which seemed to sacrifice the rawness of their debut in favour of a more commercial sound which reined in their energy somewhat.
Listening to Born To Break though, it does start to make a bit more sense. If White Hot Heat captured a band awkwardly midway through moving their sound forward, then Born To Break sees them safely out of the other side. This is a full-on FM glammed-up rock album which is closer to The Runaways than Girlschool. Okay, so it looks like the bunch of scowling kids who came storming out of the traps with Game On are pretty much now firmly in the past, but at least there’s worse places they could’ve ended up.
Born To Break does at least contain a bit more of the energy of the days of yore than its predecessor, and I think a bit of this may be down to a better production job courtesy of Thunder’s Luke Morley, who’s given the band the big full arena rock sound that was a bit lacking on their previous effort. Similar to Joanovarc’s Ride Of Your Life, this is a big straightforward no-frills rock ‘n’ roll album, and it’s not a bad listen at all.
Sure, it’s about as simple as these albums come, from the self-explanatory Everything I Learned (I Learned From Rock ‘n’ Roll) through the glammed-up stomp of Hell Or High Water and Easy Tiger and the chugging riffs of the title track and Coming Up The Middle, but that doesn’t make it any less effective. Frontwoman Gill’s voice has evolved from its previous raw-as-sushi snarl into a Joan Jett / Lita Ford style purr, while behind her the band keep things impressively tight throughout. Looks like this lot are safely back on the right track, and it’s good to hear.
Hand on heart, it's not quite as good as Game On, but Born To Break is at least a big step back in the right direction for The Amorettes - it feels like they've now properly identified what they want their sound to be, and are pushing things forward. Simple, straightforward but very enjoyable, this is the sound of a band getting its mojo back. It's good to have 'em with us again.