Amazombies - Bitches & Stitches (Cover Artwork)

Amazombies

Amazombies: Bitches & Stitches

Bitches & Stitches (2003)

Go Kart


4
Go Kart has found itself a gem in promising upstarts the Amazombies. This Seattle-based trio follows a formula that's been used before, but there's a certain charisma in their simplicity that's undeniable. Walking the fine line of whipping up fast, melodic punk with street punk leanings, the result ...

Go Kart has found itself a gem in promising upstarts the Amazombies. This Seattle-based trio follows a formula that's been used before, but there's a certain charisma in their simplicity that's undeniable. Walking the fine line of whipping up fast, melodic punk with street punk leanings, the result is a solid debut of 12 songs clocking in quickly at a half hour.

Grabbing you right out of the gates with the hard-driving "Thumb War," you get the Amazombies in a nutshell. Bassist Noriko Kaji and drummer Josh Kramer give a full, thick feel to the songs that keeps the album moving forward. The production on the guitar sound is great as it takes the Ramones-style signature attack and sharpens it. Chock full of sing along choruses and "whoa-ohs!" and "hey-hey-heys!" aplenty, you are knee deep in catchy mid-to-up-tempo 2-3 minute rockers that will get you moving. While the music packs a mean punch, the real strength of the band lies in the vocals. Guitarist/lead singer Kim Kelly has a tough baritone delivery. She maintains a good sense of melody but it also has a somber, almost battle tested veteran feel to it that really gives the songs their own identity. Noriko's background vocals adds an extra layer of toughness to the songs.

The razor-tight "You Know" that follows "Thumb War" gives the album a lively 1-2 opening. The band seems intent on giving a positive energy to their songs, even in the solemn subject matter of "Shipwrecked" that ends up turning into an uplifting commemoration of Kelly's grandfather passing. The excellent "Gotta Ride" is the song that caught my ear immediately when I listened to the record. It's hands down the most infectious song on here as it has Kim lamenting life on the road - a topic any band that's done any kind of extensive touring can understand I'm sure. The street punk cover of "Riot In Cell Block #9" is one of a few that should no doubt open up a nice slam pit. And what record would be complete without some sort of celebration of drinking as done in the fun sing along of "At the Bar."

The name Amazombies may conjure up images of riot girl feminists, but that doesn't seem to be the case at all. They touch on things we can all relate to from tough relationships to finding your way and identity in life. And while this record won't be winning any prizes for lyricist of the year award, Kelly's sincerity and stream of conscious lyrics fit the music well enough. The Amazombies run into a few missteps, such as the somewhat forgettable "That's Right," but those slight disruptions don't hurt the continuity of the album too much. The Amazombies are smart enough to stick to their guns and churn out a solid record that you can confidently pop into your stereo and not be afraid to hit the repeat button.