What the papers say...
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Scootering Magazine (December 2006)
The second album by one of the best of the current crop of Britain's Ska bands, 'Now Thats What I Call...The Amphetameanies' has to be a contender for the UK ska album of the year for me.

They start with quite a downbeat number by their standards in "Dutch Courage" before kicking into a track from their most recent EP, the hugely lively "Say Something Special To Me" which is worth the entrance fee alone and which is getting a fair amount of play at scooter do's up and down the country before "24/7" (which appears on the same EP) starts, which struts along in a very 3rd wave style, even down to the slow mid section so typical of late 80s US ska.

Next up is "Sunday Driver", a brass drenched old school dancer that is crying out for plays even with its very odd Scottish middle eight and then "Goodbye Boyfriend", a Madness influenced 'Dear John' type song that most of us can relate to! "Love You Just The Way You Are" tells the story of a boyfriend tryng to boost his girlfriends self confidence, telling her that only his opinion is the one she should listen to, no matter what everyone else says about her.
Giving your feet a rest is the female vocal on "Washed up", a down beat shuffler, but still with the 'Meanies heavy ska feel, then "Nobody Knows" pushes the bpm back up with another brass loaded dancer before "Desert Culture" kicks in with a guitar riff which leads into a killer upbeat mainly instrumental track. This is a track that would fill a dance floor given a little exposure, with its tempo changes and sudden stop/starts.

"The Devil Lives Upstairs" is a typical Amphetameanies track - bouncy keyboard and brass over a steady drum beat and guitar until the tempo changes...again! "This Boy" is yet another upbeat keyboard led track which leads into one of the tracks of their split single (with The Argies) from last year, celebrating the notorious goal by Diego Maradona - Well, they are Scottish, so allow them that minor flaw? - then "Copernicus" slows it back down before the raucous "Backbeat Fucker" which is a celebration of enjoying the music we call....SKA!
In short, if you're looking for a ska album to end the year with, you won't go far wrong with this one. Avaialable from www.amphetameanies.co.uk for a measly tenner, get in there, and while you're at it, treat yourself to their first album too!"


Alternative Nation (December 2006)

"Now that's what I call fucking brilliant. It's been more than half a decade since the Amphetameanies last released an album, and that time's been well spent. Sometimes it's difficult to walk through Glasgow without bumping into a 'meanies show: you stick your head in the door of the pub on you way past to see if any of your mates are in, and there they are. You head down the middle of Byres Road and they're up on a stage, trying to cut out all the sweary bits so as not to upset folk with weans. You slip into Borders to use their toilet, and the Amphetameanies are all crammed into a cubicle, giving it yalday.

Six years, then, playing bouncy, sweaty two-tone ska has left us with a band who are really bloody good at it. Musically they're far tighter than the Amphetameanies who recorded Right Line in Nylons, with stronger ideas and better production. The versatility of the band's setup is exploited to the full, meaning the instrumentation is more or less spot on throughout. There's no filler material here—every song stands out in its own right.

Some are more immediately arresting, mind. Say Something Special throws such infectious energy into its brass riffs that it'll be weeks before you get it out of your head. Another tune that doesn't mess about is Desert Culture, a three-way brawl between guitar, keyboard and brass lines that leaves you just enough time for a breather as the vocals pick it up (pick it up! pick it up!) in the middle: "I'm getting desperate/and I'm losing the rag/I have been through the contents/of the hoover bag.". There's a chance you've heard of This Boy, as it's been popularised by an alarmingly famous Glasgow indie band named after a certain archduke. At any rate, it's a punchy, upbeat number that sounds better for some keyboard licks and a brass section. So there.

Then we have the slow burners. Songs that hold your hand instead of grabbing you by the face. Goodbye Boyfriend is nicely restrained, with just enough brassy pomp to underpin the simple piano melody, and a chorus that packs more hooks than a pirate armada. Washed Away strips things back still further, to a guitar and a vocal line and precious little else. It makes for a nice contrast, but even the gentler songs have an urgency, a buttoned-down vitality that marks the 'meanies out from your more laid-back, back-in-the day two-tone artists. Like they caught nasty punk germs from the Newtown Grunts, or something.

Sounds of Argentina. Sounds of Mexico. Sounds of dancing and drinking and bouncing and sweating. Mostly sounds of nine people having a rare tear. How other bands manage with only three or four members is anyone's guess.

Now! That's What I Call … The Amphetameanies is out now. Buy one for your mum this Christmas."


Is This Music (No.25, February/March 2007)
The initial trepidation upon receiving this album was dispelled a few bars into the stomping soul opener Dutch Courage. I knew that they were still cutting it live (an understatement) but could they get this over in the studio as well as they did with Right Line in Nylons ? Oh yes it turns out, no bother.

If you know of this band chances are you will have sought this album out already. If you don¹t know them, Glasgow¹s 18 legged ska beast are a revelation that capture the sound of Two Tone twenty odd years later without seeming revivalist. Okay, the roots of the music are from 60s Jamaica via 80s Coventry but The Amphetameanies are very much here and now with their own unashamedly Scottish identity.

The album is brimming with the usual horn driven numbers that make the live shows so good. It's not all sweat and stomp material however. Everything from the lyrics to the multi vocal and instrumental arrangements help the songs transfer from the dance floor to repeated plays on the stereo.

This band are nothing short of a national treasure.

[JK]
****

The List (December 2006)

"There are clearly not enough nonets around these days (in fact how bloody great a word is nonet anyway?) and the Meanies do things at their own pace (leisurely) and in their own style (boisterous). Among their current fold are Mick from Belle and Sebastian, and John from Datapanik, and their alumni include Alex Kapranos (nee Huntley) who had a hand in writing a couple of these tracks.

While Lily Allen gleefully pisses on the entire notion of ska currently, this mob know their history, clearly holding the shuffling roots of the genre dear. This is more than one-dimensional Trojan tribute however, with a clutch of vocalist on hand and enough brass to start a coilliery band, theirs is a varied, potent brew. It's the sense of humour coupled with an ear for thunderous, war cry chorus and unashamedly upbeat melody that carries them through their more derivative moments.

You can¹t help but wish you were hearing these songs live, rather than on record, such is their energy, but that¹s a tribute to the quality of the band's live shows. This is for those quiet evenings in skanking round your living room."

(Mark Robertson)


Plastic Bomb Fanzine (November 2006)
"Finally, another longplayer from Madness' illegitimate Glaswegian children. Variety is guaranteed, because, it seems to me, every one of the 9 members has a go at setting the tempo... however, it¹s always unmistakably the Amphetameanies, whether male or female singing.

Hits like 'Say something special' or 'Sunday Driver' for example are simply great.
Its also nice that the 'meanies, though they belong to the real big ones over all the years, don¹t feel the need to boast about it.

Music still can make fun today!"

Flight 13
"New album from the 9-headed Scottish ska-allstars from Glasgow! Nice peppy and contagiously catchy ska, Bad Manners brass meets the guitars and songs of the Specials and Madness, very much 2Tone influenced, but in a good way.

The songs win, above all, by the nice women's voice. Harmonious-melodic, mid-tempo modern-timeless ska, which does not fall into the stereotype trap, but is fresh and impartial, which is not natural at this level."

Daily Record (9th February 2007)
"Thank the big Scooterboy in the sky that The Ordinary Boys haven't destroyed ska.

The collective called The Amphetameanies celebrate ten years together by releasing an album of upbeat, Hammond-tastic tunes to make you dance.

Including members of Bis/Data Panik and Belle and Sebastian, there's none of the blandness of Preston's ska-lite.

From the Suggs with a Scots accent on 'Sunday Driver' to the Bad Manners headshaking of 'Washed Away' to the Altered Images mixed with Madness of '24/7', Preston should listen to this and be ashamed.

The band play The Tunnels, Aberdeen, on February 17 and King Tut's, Glasgow, on March 30..."


(Rick Fulton)
Do The Dog (December 2006)

Charging out of Glasgow with a corking 2nd album are long running 9-piece juggernaut The Amphetameanies. Titled "Now! That¹s What I Call ... The Amphetameanies", the 14-song disc is a riotous party of soul-injected 2-Tone from start to finish.

Echoes of Madness, Blondie, The Specials and Dexys Midnight Runners can be heard on the release, all injected with the band¹s unique sense of humour and knack for writing top quality pop tunes. Yet another contender for album of the year in an extraordinary 12 months for UK ska!

(Kev Flowerdew)


Moloko Plus (November 2006)
"A new long player from this good-mood nonet from Glasgow. They¹ve already proved their creativity on older releases and they do not disappoint me on this album by any means.

The Amphetameanies remain faithful to their varied style, but if you want to bring it down to a denominator - pop like Madness, played fast like Bad Manners.

In addition, there are alternating male/female singers, very beautiful brass parts and it is all marvellously danceable. Yes, the Scots have got the hang of it!"

Ox No.69
"Six years have passed since "Right Line In Nylons" (which was more a collection of singles in album format than a stand-alone long-player) was released, but finally there is something new of the likeably mad Scots.

The single released ahead of the album, "Say Something Special", was a successful appetizer for a collection which, though not completely so fast and vehement throughout, even a little bit melancholy in places, still has the necessary bite. The Specials meet Madness.

The fact that this does not come across too predictably is credit to John Disco (ex-bis) at the mixing desk. I don't know why the voices of Jane Chalmers and Stan Millar remind me so
much of Chumbawamba, but I am really glad, in any case, that The Amphetameanies still sound so unmistakeably of 2-tone from the island (Britain).

Thank you for this early Christmas present. The Amphetameanies are the best neo-2-Tone band in the world."


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