It never fails to amaze me how instrumental music has flourished in the past decade or so and how the acts that deliver it have changed since I first got completely turned off of the concept when I was younger. See, being an old bugger, instrumental music as I was growing up essentially boiled down to a guitarist from an established bands solo album, was inevitably a thinly recorded rhythmic/synth track with weak drum machine which ensured that the artists ego was not interfered with whilst they widdled and twiddled seemingly endless solos for other guitar affectionados to admire. Don’t get me wrong, I admire a well timed solo but a whole albums worth…it’s a no from me. But thanks to some stunning bands I’m pleased to say I have had a change of heart which is just as well as I would be missing out on some fantastic music otherwise.
So, here we have ‘Euphoric’, the 3rd studio album from The Fierce And The Dead an album I’ve been looking forward to getting my grubby mits on for a while and I’m pleased to let me fellow FAT’eads (that is what we are calling ourselves yeah?…just me? Dammit!) know that its a bloody banger with ear-worms aplenty which would make Khan’s wrath uncontrollable!
I’ll get the bad news out the way first…it’s not a long album. At just over thirty eight minutes it is one of them albums which in no way overstays its welcome and most definitely leaves you wanting more, and sure that’s a good thing right? WRONG! I want more dammit! Still, it does implore you to hit the play button yet again and so I did again and again and am probably still doing so as you read this.
‘The Euphoric’ takes no prisoners from it’s off, kicking straight in to the lead single ‘Truck’ which is a pounding number which I can only assume Ant Mcpartlin is kicking himself for listening to whilst driving home the other night. Riffs drop to reveal a growling, driving bass and pounding kick before we hit the accelerator back into a layered build to a riotous finish. This is what TFATD do best, introduce fairly simple and addictive riffs and melodies then combine them over different layers of atmosphere and constantly shift before you find yourself too comfortable onto the next cycle, check it out for yourself:
The albums 9 (10 sort of) tracks offer some great variety, ‘1991’ is a fast-paced upbeat number that its virtually impossible not to tap a limb along to whilst following that title-track ‘The Euphoric’ (a favourite of mine) is a laid back, slightly sinister tune which would be a perfect soundtrack for a twisted sci-fi movie or game, more reliant on synths and programming than some of the other numbers it’s brooding is a welcome respite from the pounding drive heard so far.
Fellow FAT’eads (we ARE gonna make this a thing dammit!) are going to be as happy as I was to hear two very familiar numbers along the albums journey. Live favourites (which can in-fact be found on the live EP) ‘Dancing Robots’ and Verbose’ finally appear in all their splendor on ‘The Euphoric’ and they are immense. ‘Dancing Robots’ main riff has been stuck in my brain since the album got handed to me and half the reason I’m writing this is to exorcise the riff demon from my brain…it’s not worked. ‘Verbose’ has a wonderful play off between gritty bass and eclectic guitar that builds slowly before a crushing riff as they join towards the end.
I don’t want to spoil every twist and turn for you but another special mention goes for track nine ‘7 & 8’, the next two parts of the long running numbered series which has spanned previous releases. When it enters part ‘8’ there is a beautiful slow progressive segment which wouldn’t be out of place in Pink Floyd’s epic ‘Shine on You Crazy Diamond’ which deserves special praise.
‘The Euporic’ is a beautifully written and paced album which writhes through many different styles and moods and will leave you wanting more. The band have definitely reached that next plateau and deserve the plentiful slots they are being offered on some great festivals this year. Be sure to check them out and catch them live!
The album is due for release on the 18th of May and you can grab your pre-order here: https://tfatd.bandcamp.com/album/the-euphoric