Songs to the Siren

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The Amps

30th October 1995 (LP)🇺🇸

The Breeders started as a side-project, and the Pacer LP was made as a side-project from that once the Breeders became a full-time thing. Although featuring a different name and line-up, these are still Kim Deal songs sung by Kim Deal, and I consider it to be, in effect, my favourite Breeders record.

The Breeders hit the big time with their platinum-selling second LP “Last Splash” (1993), but things soon started to go wrong. Band leader Kim Deal’s twin sister Kelley was having problems with an out-of-control heroin habit, while bassist Josephine Wiggs took time away.

So Kim Deal put together a new line-up to record her latest songs, and performed these initially as Tammy and The Amps, soon shortening this to The Amps.

More vocal-oriented than Last Splash, this record is all the better for it. Deal has a good voice and an ear for a good vocal melody, and the relatively simple backing suits that here. Like most of her records, there are some weak points, but overall this is great and, although technically not a release by The Breeders, I consider this to be the best record by a Kim-Deal-led band.

Seeing The Amps in the Astoria in London was at least as good as any other Kim Deal show I’ve seen, except perhaps a famous Pixies appearance at Reading Festival a few years earlier.

The lead (and title) track embedded above is a different version than that on the LP, and it’s a version I prefer. I don’t think it was released as a single, so I’m not sure where it’s available other than YouTube etc. The LP version is linked below.