Amanda X is no stranger to the little corner of the internet delegated to the sites that will cover a band as great and largely-unheard-of as the Philadelphia trio, and they’re certainly no strangers to Impose. They played our curated Northside show this past year, and shed some light on the Illuminati with Tweens taking our position as interviewer. And now, they finally have a proper full length, and we’re proud to be the ones to actually share it with the world. It’s called Amnesia, and it’s in the embed below the next couple of paragraphs (so skip ahead if you don’t feel like reading the whole criticism/summary/pontification thing that music journalists do).
The album begins with the fuzzy, ’90s channeling “Guatemala”, and for people who haven’t heard Amanda X yet, it’s a great introduction to both their sound and the album itself. Between the ride cymbal-surfing drums, energetically-plucked bass and crunchy lead guitar lines, “Guatemala” is a quintessential Amanda X track. It’s a combination of sounds that is used on the entire album, but just like any band that fits into a narrowly defined genre that plagues music writing, they transcend simple descriptors. This particular group of musicians—Cat Park (vocals/guitar), Kat Bean (vocals/bass), Tiff Yoon (drums)—combine these sounds in a way that pays homage to the post-grunge bands of yore while doing that we-kinda-sound-like-the-90s-but-we’ve-also-kind-of-updated-it-too thing that’s really popular amongst guitar wielding rock bands right now. Amanda X go from channeling Hole (at least vocally) to referencing Sleater-Kinney (at least in their no-fucks-given attitude), but it’s when you stop comparing that Amnesia shines.
From the Double Double Whammy-esque saccharine melodies of “Things Fall Apart” to the dingy grunge of “Woke Up”, Amnesia is a fully polished and realized collection of tunes, each one hook-laden and covered in fuzz. Even “Parsnip”, which first appeared as a demo last November, feels fresh; kinetic guitars and call-and-response vocals round out the sound. But it’s “Friendly Tones”, the album’s closer, that really defines the intimate nature of Amnesia; it’s only clean electric guitar and vocals, a stripped-down pop punk song ending with the refrain,”I’ll be fine.” And then the guitar dies out, and we’re left with all the energy and hooks that make up Amnesia.
Amnesia is out today digitally, and on vinyl August 5 via Stiltbreeze. Amanda X tour dates below the stream.
Amanda X tour dates
01 – Philadelphia, PA @ Golden Tea House
08 – Brooklyn, NY @ Death By Audio
09 – Philadelphia, PA @ PhilaMOCA
12 – Columbus, OH @ Ace Of Cups
13 – Tulsa, OK @ Soundpony
14 – Albuquerque, NM @ Burt’s Tiki Lounge
15 – Tucson, AZ @ The Congress
16 – San Diego, CA @ Kensington Club
17 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Echo
19 – San Francisco, CA @ Hemlock Tavern
20 – Oakland, CA @ Night Light
22 – Portland, OR @ The Know
23 – Vancouver, BC @ The Electric Owl
24 – Seattle, WA @ Rendezvous
25 – Spokane, WA @ TBA
28 – Minneapolis, MN @ TBA
29 – Chicago, IL @ TBA
30 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Girls Rock Benefit
11 – Philadelphia, PA @ Underground Arts ^
05 – Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer #
^ Shonen Knife
# Cloud Nothings + Tyvek