Early Fragments

Early Fragments


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further info

Official Release Date Feb 12, 2013
Artist Fear of Men
Genre Pop
Version  US
PAX-Code PAX0004836568
Item Code  0827175009412


  • Manufacturer: Kanine Records

track listing

1. Seer2. Mosaic3. Your Side4. Green Sea5. Born6. Doldrums7. Ritual Confession8. Spirit House


"We are always in the evening" begins "Doldrums," a three-minute work of catchy but haunted pop by U.K. indie quartet Fear of Men. This slight lyric, while almost evasive in its ambiguity, manages to set the tone perfectly for the group's unique approach, equal parts understated pop hooks, 4AD styled shrouds of mystery, and art school dropout existential pondering. Early Fragments collects eight songs the band made while still in their infancy, culled from 7"s and limited-run cassettes. Parts of their sound play out like MTV's mid-'90s late-night programming, when bands as disparate Lush, Throwing Muses, or the Cranberries were played back to back, and lumped under the all-encompassing umbrella of "alternative." While the chiming guitars of "Mosaic" or the melancholic bass pulse of "Green Sea" point to contemporary indie acts like Beach Fossils or Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Fear of Men are set apart dramatically from their peers by songwriter and vocalist Jess Weiss' lyrics. Flitting between dire philosophical observations and listless melancholia, Weiss delivers lines like "Break me into pieces to feel safe like it's normal" or "I remember being born" with distracted off-handedness, riding melodies so carefree that anguished sentiments come off more like lazy sighs. Not many bands could directly quote Sartre in their lyrics and still be taken even remotely seriously, but Weiss delivers her metered spiritual darkness wrapped in beguiling hooks, sung with a riveting confidence. The songs owe as much to the cold sonic atmospheres of the Chills as they do the writing of Anais Nin or Fassbinder's films. Rather than simply marrying a handful of influences, Fear of Men designs their music from an almost uncomfortably personal, place. Weiss broadcasts crippling disconnection, boredom and sexual dread with all the dour verve of a young Morrissey, with the band playing to the juxtaposition of laughably depressing lyrics and sharp melodic pop instrumentation with the same tightrope-walking grace that made the Smiths a perfect band. With these eight tracks, Fear of Men succeeds in the great tradition of singles collections presented as albums being stronger than the results of any single concentrated recording session. In the same way as records like the Buzzcocks' Singles Going Steady, the Smiths' Hatful of Hollow, or even Weirdo Rippers by No Age, the incremental blasts of brilliance collected in one place as Early Fragments fit together perfectly, capturing a remarkably intriguing band at various peaks. While brief, you'd be hard pressed to find a better expression of feeling the weight of the world with a song in your head.


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