Amoeba Teen. Is it Britpop? It might be. In fact, I think it would be safe to say ‘Yes’ to Britpop. New Wave? For sure. I’m talking about England’s Amoeba Teen and their self-titled album that will arrive on April 22, 2022, via Big Stir Records. I also feel that there is a healthy dose of New Wave influenced music and writing going on in Amoeba Teen.
Amoeba Teen is singer/guitarist Mark Britton. Mike Turner on guitar and vocals. On percussion, we have Carl Bayliss. Laying down some sweet bass lines is Simon Muttitt. Lead vocals are split between Britton and Turner, with both of them having excellent voices and complicating each other in harmony.
Amoeba Teen: “This album is the first one where we’ve recorded live as a four-piece, capturing the energy of the band performance Amoeba Teen are famed for.” That raw energy on the album was captured by producer Sean Lloyd at Claptrap the Studio. Amoeba Teen cites Sean Lloyd as instrumental in developing the Amoeba Teen sound into new sonic territories at Claptrap Studios in Stourbridge and mastered by George Shilling (Teenage Fanclub, Primal Scream).
Amoeba Teen avoid locking their sound into a genre, and I am totally on board with that. They sound like a band that has taken the good bits from the various bands, eras, and genres they admire, gave it a couple of good solid shakes, and recorded what came out.
What came out is their sophomore album, a follow-up to their well-received album Medium Wave, which I think had a good healthy dose of New Wave and to my ears, that wave is lapping the shores of Amoeba Teen, the album.
The single “New Material World,” which was released April 8, 2022, just a bit ahead of the album, is as New Wave as a song can get. It bristles with guitar lines that would have been at home in a New Wave playlist nestled between Brinsley Schwarz and Rockpile.
“It was a deliberately self-titled album because it was a real band effort to capture the live performance and shape the subsequent arrangements and vocal harmonies,” the band Amoeba Teen explains. “It has been a labour of love over two disrupted years – trying to rehearse the songs and then being forced to wait due to COVID lockdowns.”
The spontaneity and band chemistry evident in the new recordings extends even to the writing of the single “New Material World.” Mark Britton found inspiration for the single in the middle of a text message with Carl Bayliss, Amoeba Teens percussionist. Thinking about George Harrison’s film, Living In the Material World, and how short life is for all of us. Mark Britton was creating a new life for himself beyond his unhappy marriage. Mark used Living In the Material World as a springboard to write ‘New Material World’ in under fifteen minutes. That same night, the band got together to arrange the tune and create Amoeba Teen’s next single.” Impressive? Hell ya!
“New Material World” takes inspiration from every direction of the compass. There is a passing reference to Donald Trump, “Whatever walls they build, we’ll knock them down.”
A dark nod to Hiroshima in the lines, “For this may be our last day on this earth, I love your silhouette – for all it’s worth.” Maybe a little Buffalo Springfield in there, “For What It’s Worth.”?
The rest of the album is chockfull of good music with equally good lyrics. I won’t bore you with a playlist of every song and what I hear in them. What I will do is encourage you to do is have a listen to Amoeba Teen for yourself. I don’t think you will be disappointed. From the cryptic lyrics of Monica Wake Up to the tongue-in-cheek of Putting the Kids Through College, there is something for everyone and more than enough good music to keep me going back for another helping.
The album Amoeba Teen will be released on April 22 via Big Stir Records.
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