Monday, January 18, 2010

Duff Review: The Amphetameanies - "Good One Go" b/w "Nothing's Ok"

7" single/iTunes download
F&J Records/Ratrace Records

Forgive me for writing about The Amphetameanies like they are newcomers to the scene (they've been dispensing their sharp brand of 2 Tone ska out of Glasgow, Scotland for over 13 years with two albums, an EP, and a host of singles to speak of). I'd first heard of the band (and remember that there was some sort of Belle and Sebastian connection that might have thrown me off their trail--ska and chamber pop?) toward the end of the US ska boom of the late 90s, just before it all crashed, when it was a daunting task just to keep up with the sheer number of acts coming out of the woodwork. (As a mainstay of the Glasgow music scene, The Amphetameanies have links to several Scottish alternative acts: members of the band were once part of the now defunct Bis and the aforementioned Belle and Sebastian--plus even Franz Ferdinand frontman Alex Kapranos was in the 'Meanies for a spell back in the day.)

After listening to their excellent new single, "Good One Go" b/w "Nothing's Ok," I wished someone had turned me on to The Amphetameanies long ago--because I'm certainly the poorer for not making their acquaintance earlier.

Propelled by its menacing guitar lick, the blistering, minor-key "Good One Go" is the cautionary tale about a guy who ploughs through a long line of women, desiring all he sees, but completely oblivious to what he's had and lost:
You got the good one
You let the good one go
For every one you want
You lose a better one
You let the good one go
On the flip side of this double A single, the loping reggae of "Nothing's Ok" (which is transformed into a manic ska romp toward the end) belies the frustration and loneliness that results whenever love is essentially turned into a game of hide and seek:
You're lost in a crowd, with your heart unfurled
You fly a flag that says come back to me
Love the Jerry Dammers-ish "ice palace" organ touches in there, too!

All in all, this is a superb single from a top-notch band--and very much worth tracking down.

The Duff Guide to Ska Grade: A


Anonymous said...

what's the rest of their stuff like ? :)

Steve from Moon said...

It's quite excellent. Your comment reminds me that I need to review more of their material. Thanks!