The self-titled EP from Fair, Fair is the latest release from this vibrant indie-rock outfit. It opens with the bright and bold “Hands Free”. Fast-paced drumming, screeching power chords, and a crunchy bass guitar rhythm set the groundwork for tender, melodic vocals. It’s a simultaneously pretty and rock-fuelled journey. I adore the melancholic guitar arpeggio during the instrumental section towards the end of the track. It makes me nostalgic for something I haven’t even experienced. I don’t know how else to describe the emotions that it evokes. It’s beautiful.
“What Else Can I Do?” opens with a plodding bass drum and tender guitar, married with tender vocals, for that matter. I thought I had this song accurately predicted in my mind, so I was definitely knocked for 6 when the drums exploded into a cacophony of sound, as did the guitars. Fair, Fair have nailed the classic “wall of sound” on this song. There are some wonderfully-heartfelt vocal passages and synth riffs, too. The song reminds me of other indie and alternative artists that manage to expertly tow that line between beauty and chaotic noise: Radiohead and My Bloody Valentine are two good examples.
“Water Weight” is a sinister and haunting track, driven by a dissonant and ever-so-slightly distorted guitar rhythm. I love the late introduction of a tight yet gentle drum beat and sizzling lead guitar. The track feels almost apocalyptic. I wasn’t expecting anything so dark from this band, but I absolutely love it. The guitar. Wow. Just wow. And as it fades out, I have no idea what to expect from “My Life at the Credit Union”. Math rock. That’s the next U-Turn that Fair, Fair takes. The drum fills and crashing cymbals are so complex and hypnotic. I love the screeching guitar work, as well, but I definitely find myself paying the most attention to the drum-work. Even the gentle mid-section features fantastically-intricate drumming. Still, the screamo vocals and distorted guitars towards the end of the track added an extra, and very welcome, layer of chaos.
The EP closes with “Horse Dewormer”, a sudden burst of sunshine after a pool of darkness. They return to the upbeat indie sensibilities that they displayed on the opener, coming full-circle. There’s a lovely vocal melody in the verses on this track. It’s a bright and summery way to end the release.
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