Release Date: 24/11/08 Label: Unsigned Link: http://www.myspace.com/theamsterdams Do you remember those 'Paint by numbers' style of painting you made as a youngling? Well, that seems to be the approach The Amsterdams have taken to their first widely released EP. Based in Bucharest via a Dutch city name, their sound is heavily influenced by the mainstream British Indie scene circa 2004. Title track Automatic daubs paint over the section highlighted as Franz Ferdinand - and then the classic ‘Mm tsk Mm tsk’ open high hat drums that is ubiquitous on the modern indie dancefloor. Despite being the single, Automatic appears to be the weakest and the least inventive track on the EP. The EP is full of angular catchy guitar licks throughout, or at least attempted catchy guitar licks. The problem being it can feel a tad too self-aware and forced, latching onto the indie curtails of previous efforts. Petrolize All Mice does have a sense of fun and hints not all is taken seriously, and is genuinely catchy, the chorus chanting ‘We’ve got a big big mouse, in our house.’ Lights Out is perfectly pleasant and brushes in the ‘penultimate track of a Bloc Party album’ zone, mellow vocals and gentle guitars. Definitely a track I’d listen to again. Interpol vocals are also noted, numbered and painted over to the edge. There is nothing particularly wrong with The Amsterdams, just quite derivative and not adding all that much new. Who knows, listening to this five years ago may have been an appealing listen. And I may have applauded them for creating a painting from a relative blank canvas; but as it is the painting by numbers theme sticks.