New Music of the Day – CCVII : Ethics For Enemies – Fennr Lane

19748369_1134791326624724_4710435874346388700_nFennr Lane has been nothing if not consistent in their mission to put muscular, dark, grunge infused rock back on the map. Ethics for Enemies is a blend of the cold, doom-laden edge of Danzig’s dystopian blues-metal and the emotive, sonic drama of Staind, built as much on an intangible weight as the power of the musical delivery itself. Post-grunge? Is that a thing? If it is it suits our purpose here for Fennr Lane is great at capturing all if the power of the intent and delivery of the rawest of grunge bands and doing it with the simplest of lines and leaving behind the “I hate by mum because she made me tidy my room” parochialism which was often at the heart of the scene.

If you like Alice In Chains, Metallica even or the bands mentioned above, then there is a lot here that you will love. Now will someone for god sake give them a record deal or at least some sort of development budget, I want to see this band really open up and show us what they can do.

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Ethics for Enemies – Fennr Lane (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

19748369_1134791326624724_4710435874346388700_nFennr Lane has always been about getting the point musically speaking, simple classic rock lines built around a slow and relentless drive rather than any quick pay off or gimmickry. Here they distil that rock and roll essence down ever further but balance it with a deeper push into the dramatic Wagnerian territory that comes naturally to them.

They have always worked well with light and shade, understood how to play the slow build dynamics card and if this is an example of what they can do on the limited budget I know they have available, imagine the big screen sonic writings they could produce if time and money were less of an issue.

Gothic soundtrack, end of set anthem and symphonic rock stripped down to the bone all rolled into one and proving  yet again that the most straightforward of ideas are all you need if you delivery them with passion and panache.

 

Crawling – Fennr Lane (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

unknownIn some ways Fennr Lane has restored my faith in rock music. Having been bombarded with metal so extreme that it sounds like the sounds like the heavy industry sector of the seventh circle of hell and would-be rock more concerned with having the right skinny jeans and complicated hair, I guess I was ripe for something that ticked the right boxes for me. And Fennr Lane certainly does that.

Like the previous single, Time To Ruin, Fennr Lane eschews the frippery and gimmicks that is often used as a distraction and just gets down to the business of reviving a brand of rock that sits somewhere between the foot on the monitor traditions of classic rock, the steely-eyed swagger of garage rock and a grunge intensity. This isn’t the sort of music that will change your life, but it will make your night. It is nothing more than a satisfying hit of solid, dynamic and driving rock urges, a record of simple ambitions but one that achieves its goals with room to spare.

Like I say, it won’t change your life, most music doesn’t, but it might just remind you of why you fell in love with rock music in the first place.

Weekly Review Podcast – Episode 1

As promised, here’s Episode 1 of our new weekly review podcast, where we take a few of the releases that have come across the desk recently, gather around a late night coffee pot, and have a collective chat about them.

This week;

  • 0:00 : Fennr Lane – Time To Ruin (single)
  • 4:53 : Lucy Mason – Hunger (single)
  • 9:45 : The Nightjar – Objects (album)
  • 16:15 : J W Edwards – Hearkened Hands (EP)

If you’d like us to feature your music on this weekly podcast, drop us a line and let us know, and we’ll be delighted to oblige.

Please feel free to comment and share.

New Music of The Day – CXXXIX: Time to Ruin – Fennr Lane

15355585_959283680842157_7252906557705691524_nOne of the downsides of being a music writer for a living is that all sorts of sounds find their way to my desk, music that, let’s say, isn’t exactly in my comfort zone. So after a morning spent trying to eek out some positivity from production line pop or struggling to be critically upbeat about yet more landfill indie, it is always a sigh of relief when a band like Fennr Lane crop up on the “to do” list.

I’ll admit it; I’m an old school rocker and songs like Time to Ruin feels like coming home. But that might sound as if I am dismissing the song as just the same old same old. Far from it. For whilst there is always going to be an element of the familiar about what is going on here, there is something musically dark and elegant at work too. The musical building blocks may be instantly recognisable but what is being built with those materials is still something inspiring, fresh and appealing.

The backbeat drives relentlessly, the bass line pounds out a tribal dance, guitars fire off white-hot salvos and almost industrial edged riffs, and the vocals have exactly the right blend of attitude and world-weariness to complete the picture. For far too long have we been subjected to screaming metal bands who feel the need to throw two albums worth of notes into every song or melodic posers watering down the essence of rock and roll for a unit shifting, chart orientated career. But there is another way.

What Fennr Lane realise is that rock music thrives best at a point where solidity meets melody, where intensity meets accessibility and simple grooves and solid beats serve much better than trying to show off or pander to popularity. In a couple of generations time people will look back at music such as this and define it as classic rock for their age and I guess as accolades go it doesn’t get better than that.

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