The Fairweather Band – 12″ EP review

TFBSeven tracks seems rather long for an EP, edging onto the side of a mini-album, but with every track under two and a half minutes, it’s a little more forgivable. Exeter quartet The Fairweather Band recorded the songs all the way back in July, although the record isn’t due for release until December 1st, available on 12″ vinyl. You may know frontman Rory Matthews as his acoustic alter ego, Some Sort of Threat. The Fairweather Band is a rockier platform to present his concise and intricate songwriting.

To say the band classify themselves as “punk”, there’s a remarkably country sound to the opening track of the EP, Going Feral. Laid-back and summery, the cymbal heavy sound takes its time to pick up pace, eventually forming into a more solid structure as the abrupt vocals take hold. Occasional moments hint at a vague psychedelic influence, slipping into a hazier sound, creating a lack of form in the track’s genre.

Pitiful and Despicable can only be described as a bizarre mix of Frank Turner meets Joyce Manor; country punk in a raw and halted short burst. Instrumental heavy Three Circles sees the return of the fuzz and haze, with more frantic moments spiking through the slightly samey sound. The voice edges on cumbersome in moments and this lethargic element breaks up the pace, slowing the piece down.

Bleak certainly has that feel to it; angry slants on every word add a hint of bitterness to the track, and it’s only the females vocals layered in a rather Beans On Toast-esque manner that bring any light to the piece, with a striking ambivalent honesty reigning over the track, blandly stating, “it’s amazing how you can live a life you hate and think nothing of it”. A fittingly lazy start to Eyelids snaps into action after a few seconds, continuing what appears to be a common theme of pulled-and-pushed sound, developed to not settle.

The final two tracks off the EP, Inside My Head and All Ears are indisputably my favourites; both display a clearer, stronger structure and the elements I’d hoped for the entire piece to have. Oddly enough, Two Door Cinema Club-esque riffs slip into the first half minute of the penultimate song, closer to a “proper song” than the demo-like snippets of the previous tracks. Declarative and confident, the album’s finale is romantically tinged and strikes up an excellent balance between vocal and instrumental focus. An abrupt end ring an abrupt close to an abrupt EP.

There are elements in this that feel as though they could blossom into something unique and striking; the short bursts, however, make this simply feel underdeveloped.

 

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