Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Let's Talk About This Wicked Debut Album From England's Fawn Spots

I suppose that if Fawn Spots had dropped their excellent debut, From Safer Place, out very soon on Fire Records, on these shores as a new American band there'd have been a hue-and-cry that the band were somehow punk revivialists.

Luckily, the band are from York in the U.K. and, thus, that distance gives them more artistic currency than U.S. critics might afford a similar band in the U.S., I'm afraid to say.

All that aside, the cuts on From Safer Place (Fire Records) are all remarkably emotional and raw post-punk, near-harDCore riff-rockers that burrow their way into a listener's brain on first listen. "A Certain Pleasure" rides a Fugazi-like hook to a fiery conclusion. "Black Water" has the clipped rhythm of the best Dischord Records releases in the 1980s. "Black Water" takes that punk vibe in a new direction with a coda that hints at the throb of early Loop records.

"Natural Vision" -- the band's tip of the hat to Rites of Springs' "Persistent Vision"? -- is a roar into the abyss. The call-and-response and absolute chaos on the kit are the best bits of this song. Even as it sounds like it's about to fall apart, it coalesces into one of the best cuts on From Safer Place.

"In Front of the Chestnut" mixes things up a bit and reveals the influence of non-harDCore bands on the output of Fawn Spots.

Excellent closer "Basque Knife" takes the speed down a notch and blends in a hint of (very) early Husker Du with a tiny bit of Nirvana-on-Sub Pop flavor. Not in any way grunge, "Basque Knife" is, instead, an updating on the music of those acts.

I don't want to do a disservice to Fawn Spots by constantly referencing harDCore here but, rather, highlight what this band is so good at creating. For those of you who miss the spark and fury of real punk rock, for those who want something that takes a few musical risks, you'd be well advised to check out Fawn Spots. From Safer Place roars past with nary a musical moment wasted. This is fine, fiery music that is as invigorating as anything being produced in 2015.

Follow Fawn Spots on their official Facebook page.

From Safer Place will be out in a matter of weeks from Fire Records.