Fear of Men – Fall Forever
Post Punk | Dream Pop
This album is an ever shifting battleground between two warring factions. On one side you have the post-punk influences. The droning electronics and the dark avant garde that is reminiscent of Joy Division and Talk Talk, particularly on ‘Ruins’. On the other side you have the atmospheric dream pop bolstered by Jess Weiss’ bright vocals on songs such as ‘A Memory’. For the most part Fall Forever exists as a no mans land between the two styles. There are brief yet promising moments of accord between the two, with ‘Trauma’ being the best example, but for the most part this album is an uneasy listen. It sounds like two different albums being played together, like oil and water just refusing to mix.
In part the split personality may be because the two styles just aren’t meant to be mixed, but I don’t think the band have done enough to develop the songs to the best of their ability. The consistently short song lengths seem to back up that idea. Instead of perfectly packaged vignettes that succinctly sum things up in a couple of minutes, the songs feel like underdeveloped demos that aren’t living up to their potential. There are some good ideas here but the band hasn’t delved deep enough to let them flourish. It’s going to take a lot more experimenting for Fear of Men to find the magic formula, but I will be keeping my fingers crossed for them.