Sunday, 10 November 2013

Discovery: Fear of Men - Ritual Confession

Fear of Men exists because of Jessica Weiss' art degree. If it wasn't for her art exhibition, she would never have met Dan Falvey. Together, they make up the core of Fear of Men - both guitarists, both visionaries of how art and music can coincide side by side. Music Review Database has been following Fear of Men since 2012, when they released "Green Sea" through Sexbeat Records - a delightful tune which was shrouded in reverb, most associated somewhat wrongly to NME's proclaimed C86 period. It's still an easy reference to use when writing about indie pop, it's all too easy to say 'hey, this sounds like C86', when most people have never listened to the C86 compilation, and only a handful of that the cassette itself - I haven’t, but I don't rave about C86 being the god of all independent music, because that's plain wrong. Not to mention some of the bands missed on that compilation, who are essentially some of Fear of Men's influences (The Jesus & Mary Chain, Orange Juice, The Smiths.)

The above single is "Ritual Confession" (as seen with the post title,) one of Fear of Men's best recordings. It was released with the B-side "Spirit House" in 2012 on Italian Beach Babes Records. When Fear of Men released this, they still had their original bassist. Then when I saw the Brighton quartet live in Sheffield in June of that year, they had a new bassist. Now looking over their recent free performance at South Street Seaport in New York City (which I missed this year,) they have another bassist - the third bassist in as many years. They seem to advertise for a bassist every year, which simply reads - 'female bassist provides backing vocals', though it's not a necessity arrangement a band built like this need.

The two male, two female members in Fear of Men plays a direct reference to their founding, as part of Anaïs Nin's writings. Fear of Men are very much a literary reference through and through, taking the smart writing of Morrissey and artistic expressions through novels. "Ritual Confession" is the perfect introduction to Fear of Men. It uses one of the quartet's most memorable refrain's, with a thumping bass riff and great reverb effects on the electric guitar. They've just finished their debut album, which will be out, enjoyed, and listened to by many soon.
~Eddie Gibson

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