published: 2 /
Louder Than War
Long-awaited debut album from Sheffield's psychotic popsters Faerground Accidents, but, which following in the footsteps of the Cure, Suede and Pulp and showing that alternative music can still be original, boundary-pushing and dangerous, proves very much worth the wait
It has taken close on five years for Sheffield’s Faerground Accidents to release their debut album 'Co-morbid' on John Robb’s Louder Than War label. I’m pleased to report that has most definitely been worth the wait. Formed in 2012 around singer/frontman Bomar, the band were originally based in Manchester. Their demos came to the attention of John Robb (Goldblade/The Membranes) who heaped praise on them via his Louder Than War website, only for Bomar to find himself committed to a psychiatric hospital, putting the band’s future in doubt. Thankfully a recovered Bomar decamped to Sheffield with original keyboardist Henrietta Rowlatt to start afresh. With the key addition of ex-Artery guitarist Murray Fenton on guitar, the new look Faerie's line-up made their debut in Sheffield in December 2013 and, after a series of singles and the obligatory rotation of rhythm section, the band set about recording their debut album with Sheffield legend Alan Smyth at 2Fly Studios.
And what a debut it is! Kicking off with the breezy, fuzz-pop of 'We Hate the Same Things', Bomar lays his cards on the table early doors (“When we first met I was having a nervous breakdown”). It’s a theme that continues throughout the album. Sometimes such stream-of-conscious lyrics can become a bit awkward and, at times, cringeworthy. Bomar, however, avoids any such pitfall by the virtue of his irreverent sense of humour and an endearing slice of self-deprecation. And, of course, that voice. And those lyrics, which ricochet between fleets of fantasy and everyday banalities. Second cut 'Woeful Small Town' is nagging at me. Aside from having the best use of the word “willy” in a song ever, it’s sounding vaguely familiar. Got it: Mansun circa their 'Being a Girl' phase. And that is not a bad touchstone to orientate your musical compass and get on-board the Faerground’s emotional rollercoaster. There’s a whole slew of other influences that come to mind too; vocal flutters of Bowie, the off-kilter-pop of the Cure, the kitchen-sink drama of Pulp, a sprinkle of Suede’s Brett Anderson, the androgyny of Placebo, the lyrical witticisms of the Smiths. I could go on. But here’s the rap. Faegrounds somehow manage to sound like a multitude of your favourite bands while simultaneously sounding vital, beautiful and fresh.
Meanwhile the wall-to-wall singles keep flowing in the shape of the anthemic 'My Former Baby' and 'She Makes Me Want to Die'. 'Gaslighter' has been getting its fair share of airplay on 6Music recently and deservedly so, showcasing the versatility of guitar-whizz Fenton. In the operatic 'Into the Wild' the band veer into prog-rock territory. Whether it was intentional to follow it with 'Sleep in the Woods', it matters not. It works a treat. On 'The Moralist' the band strike lyrical gold with a string of put-downs that the song’s hapless subject could never possibly hope to come back from. Final cut 'Ether Girl' lives up to its title with its ethereal intro and gives the album the grand finale it deserves, with its swirling synth-lines and slide guitars.
And with that helter-skelter of eleven alt-pop anthems, the album is over. Drawing you into their world with a fist full of tunes that will be swimming around your brain for an eternity, Faerground Accidents have finally delivered a debut album they were always capable of delivering. It’s certainly no accident as the fun of this particular faerground has only just began.
The Same Things
Woeful Small Town
My Former Baby
She Makes Me Want To Die
Into The Wild
Sleep In The Woods