Friday, February 8, 2013

REVIEW: Fear of Men - Early Fragments

Fear of Men is no stranger to regular readers of these pages, as we have highlighted their singles and demos on a number of occasions.  The Brighton, UK quartet is preparing their debut album of new material, and will play at SXSW in March.  However, before those events they are releasing an eight-track retrospective entitled Early Fragments.  The album presents, in reverse chronological order, the material the band has released to date.  I expect that Early Fragments will be of particular interest to old and new US fans because the songs collected here were primarily European releases.  So this is a rare chance to reach back and (quite efficiently) possess the historical record of an exciting young band before their debut album (coming later this year) launches the next stage of their career.

The songs on Early Fragments reveal the band's focus on melody, often infused with a sense of urgency or anxiety, and lyrics inspired by art and literature.  Jess Weiss' understated vocals are pitch perfect, with a quality that may remind some of Harriet Wheeler of The Sundays.  I expect everyone will have their own favorites, but for me "Green Sea" (video provided below), "Doldrums" and "Ritual Confession" are quintessential Fear of Men songs.

Here is the video for "Green Sea" --

fear of men - green sea from samuel craven on Vimeo.

Fear of Men are Jessica Weiss (vocals/guitar), Daniel Falvey (guitar), Michael Miles (drums) and Robyn Edwards (bass).

Early Fragments is available on February 12 on Kanine Records in vinyl and digital formats.

Twitter ( @fearofmen )

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