Where: Tramlines, Sheffield
Venue: New Music Stage
Tramlines has a tendency to surprise the casual listener. This years New Music Stage is far more audacious than the previous years. The obscurity level is sky high and the term 'new music' has never been more applicable than right here on this Saturday afternoon in Sheffield. Second on the 'Italian Beach Babes' stage was Fear of Men. We have two girls and two boys performing these sweet indie pop tunes. With their Fender guitars and heartfelt vocals, Fear of Men are quickly becoming a name to watch out for.
They recently toured with the mournful L.A indie poppers Best Coast, a band with little credibility, originality and stature. I'm not just being sinister either.. Anyway, so Fear of Men use pop tunes and harmonies alike Best Coast, they just get their point across decisively and sweetly. There is no self-loving, location appreciating cat songs here. Fear of Men are far more sophisticated, collective and exciting.
'Ritual Confession' matched the mood accurately. The sun was shining and the band members showed great interest in being here, unlike some who play at live shows, *Cough* Veronica Falls *Cough*. This single has a lovely melody. The breeze fits the delicate music, with lead singer Jess soaking in the atmosphere. The first words that popped out of her mouth in non-lyrical form were, "Can we have less of that guitar, and more of this one." It was something along those lines. She then welcomed the audience with a cute "Hello.."
Fear of Men had a short but sweet set. Tracks such as 'Green Sea' sounded utterly brilliant. The twee guitar riffs matched the laid back bass and enigmatic drumming. This performance was special to be a part of. The audience seemed more friendly to Fear of Men, over the beautiful noisy Novella. Each to their own. Arguably their best track to date, 'Doldrums' is a fierce indie pop thriller. The lead guitar acts as a destructive piece of material. The loud nature of the layered guitars reminds me of Aztec Camera, Television and the lo-fi bands of the 90's. Art rock is seeping through here, with lead singer Jess delivering an ear catching vocal, suiting the structure.
They don't have the strongest of discography's, yet. They played a short set which was enjoyed by the noise driven audience. Not many bands can leave this stage knowing they've left an impact on the audience, well Fear of Men did leave an impact. They're most certainly a band to look out for in the future. Whether it's an EP or a demo album, I'm sure a shoal of indie pop heads will swarm at it.
~Eddie & Mary