Saturday, 21 June 2014

The Fear - Here Goes Nothing


Lockjaw Records were always mentioned in Rock Sound Magazine when I was younger (mid-teens) and since that time, they've introduced me to band like Dutch punks Antillectual, as well as bands from closer to home like Almeida and Drones. This record by The Fear has been sitting in my review pile for a long time, but I needed to cheering up after the shoddy excuse for a football team, so   hence the review. Here Goes Nothing was released in mid-2012 and The Fear have played local shows in York/Leeds with bands like Stick To Your Guns and The Wilhelm Scream, so they've got a decent pedigree.

Tracklist:-

1. There Lies Better Days Ahead
2. Turn With The World
3. Saving Grace
4. The Bitter Taste
5. Losing Faith
6. Enemy of Sense
7. Heavy Hearts And Bloodshot Eyes
8. Great News For Typists
9. Suspended With Contempt
10. The Apple 0f My Eye
11. Open All Hours

Lockjaw described The Fear as tech-punk when this album was originally released, and they weren’t far wrong. The sweeping riffs at the start of There Lies Better Days Ahead and the off-kilter time signatures back that up. It’s the vocals though that remind you of the band’s punk roots, with harmonies aplenty. You can hear the mid to late 90’s pop-punk influence in The Fear’s sound. Turn With The World has some sweet NOFX undertones in the vocals. The instrumentation comes across a lot harder, with crunching guitars and rabid drums, that add to the song and don’t overpower it.

Saving Grace highlights The Fear’s songwriting at it’s most proficient as it’s shorter and more urgent, with plenty great guitar work and they follow it straight away with The Bitter Taste, which is equally as good. With the majority of songs on Here Goes Nothing hitting the four and a half minute mark, it’s good to have a few songs where The Fear take off the chains and play with real punk attitude. Loosing Faith takes things back in a more off-kilter direction. I think the metal/hardcore influence and technical aspect of The Fear makes this album so much more listenable, as there’s always something going on in the music and it doesn’t get boring or staid.

The momentum they get from heading straight from one song to another, like when Loosing Faith ends and the band launches into Enemy of Sense, should be how every album is written and recorded. I hate long breaks of silence between songs so The Fear have nailed it for me. They’ve achieved a British sound, while weaving subtle American influences into their music, without allowing them to take over.  Heavy Hearts & Bloodshot Eyes typifies that last point and throws some technical guitar in for good measure. Great News For Typists has a hint of Dropkick Murphy’s about it, but without the fiddles obviously. 

The vocals during Suspended With Contempt are mostly in the higher ranges to start with, further enforcing the band’s 90’s pop-punk sound and reminding me of Ignite, which is no bad thing at all.  As The Apple of My Eye starts you think it’s going to be the band emotive balled but before too long The Fear bounce back into familiar punk territory. Ending it all with Open All Hours, The Fear have done themselves proud on their debut album. Here Goes Nothing may have been released two years ago, but it stands up really well now and sounds great.

You can buy Here Goes Nothing for the bargain price of £2.50 from Lockjaw Records here -http://www.lockjawrecords.co.uk/shop/the-fear-here-goes-nothing/

You can stream the album opener here -



The Fear Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/soundofthefear
Lockjaw Records Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/lockjawrecords

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