Early Fragments by FEAR OF MEN [REVIEW]


FEAR OF MEN are a four-piece from Brighton UK who make dreamy and lush guitar indie pop and, just like many before them, they are headed to the craziness of SXSW in March and, ahead of this sojourn from their British home, they’ve decide it wise to compile a collection of their singles to date. In fact it’s a reverse-chronological compilation os singles and flip sides into a mini-album of 25 minutes.

Conceptually, I was quite excited to listen to the progressive regression of a band back to sketchy roots – but I fear that I have the good fortune to report that the last track Spirit House – “You’re just a dreamer / I’m just a dream” – with it’s lazily stop-started rhythm and fuzzy guitars meeting the Primitives-esque vocals is just as awesome as the previously unreleased dream-like-pulsed opener or their latest actual single Mosaic on track two.

The sixties-surf-pop-hawaiian vibe of Your Side is decidedly summery as it floats on by while the densely strummed Green Sea is a much darker affair to be dealing with; FEAR OF MEN demonstrate with this handy omnibus that they are definitely more than a single-tricked pony – while, at the same time, being clear about what their c86 style indi-pop astetic is and where their inspirations lay. This is a highly enjoyable introduction to a relatively new band and an interesting addition to a music library; who knows – they might, very well be the ‘next big thing’ – in a world where classic sounding guitar indie-pop could be next-big-things, that is (or at least on the line-up for Laneway 2014). And didn’t I read that 2013 was the year of the return of the guitar band? Or was it the year offend of the guitar band? I don’t remember which hype to believe anymore!

RATING : GREAT

I have always struggled with a numerical scale; it feels so finite and arbitrary.
So the CHEESE ON TOAST scale looks a little something like this :
FREAKIN’ AWESOME / JUST AWESOME / REALLY GREAT / GREAT / GOOD / PRETTY COOL / NOT BAD / COULD BE BETTER / PRETTY BAD, ACTUALLY / NOT RECOMMENDED FOR EARS
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