In another debut for AlternativeFriday we welcome ‘Major Tom’ who will be periodically
reviewing new and recently released albums, and here is his debut by Fear of Men…
Artist: Fear Of Men
Fear of Men are a Brighton based band centring on the song writing duo of Jessica Weiss (vocals and guitar) and Daniel Falvey (guitar). Music wise, they have been pigeon holed under a number of different genres, but given their art school background and the dreamy/ambient feel which runs through Loom, Dream Pop and Art Rock are probably the best descriptions to get to a handle on the overall feel of their debut album.
In light of the above, there is a danger that on first hearing Loom may pass by pleasantly (and dreamily) enough without the burning desire to hit the replay button anytime soon. And sure enough the melodic and wistful strains of Waterfall and America are the only immediate stand outs on its initial outing.
However, what really alerts the listener that there is something a bit more substantial – and indeed darker – to such pleasantries are honest and direct lyrics, which touch on subjects such as Loneliness, obsession, illness and doomed love. These are delivered by Weiss in such a way that you can’t help but be affected – even when it’s just a line or two, leaping out and finding some sort of resonance.
Luckily by the second listen, music and words come together, with strong hooks and melodies appearing – and you wonder how you could have ever missed them in the first place. This is particularly true of such tracks as Descent, Luna and The Seer. The first of which one could easily imagine becoming an indie sing-a-long favourite, in the style of The Smiths or The Sundays. So, yeah, by this you can tell the usual jangly Indie influences are here, but by no means do they dominate proceedings.
A surprise string bit here and sprinkling of feedback-lite there keeps the listener on their toes, and adds to the sense that Fear Of Men are striving to provide a twist to existing affairs and come up with something a bit different. To this end, they largely succeed and Loom has a fresh feel to it, even if the wheel isn’t totally reinvented.
In summary then, Loom is: Sweet, yet dark / Dark, yet sweet. Simple / yet complex. Complex / yet simple. It all adds up to a rewarding listen and a fine debut from a band I will certainly be keeping a look out for. Have no fear of that.