Bad Elephant Music [Release date 18.05.18]
The Fierce and the Dead – Matt Stevens (guitar, synth, piano), Kev Feazey (bass, programming, synth, percussion), Steve Cleaton (guitar, piano) and Stuart Marshall (drums, percussion) – return with their fourth album.
Opener ‘Truck’ does as the title suggests and drives right into your speakers in a whirl of guitars, loops and a driving rhythm section. The Fierce and the Dead have used synths more on this album, mainly to give extra depth and sounds to certain tunes such as the short but sweet ‘Cadet Opel’ (possibly a tribute to the car the Opel Kadett?!).
All instrumental albums can put some people off, however they are missing a treat as this album has plenty of variety with ‘Dug Town’ a prime example. On this one the band cleverly mix synths and guitars – the steady beat does recall OMD, albeit a rockier version of OMD!
Then there is ’48K’ that sounds like Faith No More tackling a late 60′s science fiction TV show theme tune. Sounds weird but like all the music on here, each piece is driven by a catchy and memorable melody.
‘The Euphoric’ should be the album that sees the Fierce And The Dead make the crossover to a wider audience. They have produced another album full of enjoyable and wonderful music to immerse the listener in, which is their best to date in this reviewer’s humble opinion. ****1/2
Review by Jason Ritchie
The band’s guitarist Matt Stevens answers questions about the new album, touring and more…
Have the band been pleased with the reaction to date for the new album ‘The Euphoric’?
It’s been incredible, we didn’t expect the amount of interest. I suppose it’s because of all the touring we did since Spooky Action. We’re really pleased.
‘The Euphoric’ seems to feature more synths/programming than previously. Was this a conscious move by the band or more a case of following where the music takes you?
Well we brought synths and got into that, we always used synths but this time we used them more this time and some of the songs were written on synths like Dug Town and The Euphoric. It just gives us more to play with sound wise. People seem into it. We’ve always loved Boards Of Canada, John Carpenter and stuff like that it’s just that those influences are coming more to the forefront of late, we’re always keen to try different ways of working.
How do the band keep coming up with such different sounds on each album? For a non-musical person how do you get your guitar to produce such weird and wonderful sounds?
We buy more pedals and then break them! People donate pedals and we use them in different ways. A lot of the sounds people think are synths are guitars and vice versa. It’s a lot of trial and error really, we get bored easily so our focus is to keep ourselves interested by throwing away the sounds we used on the previous album and starting again each time.
What have been the band’s live highlights in the past year and why?
Supporting Hawkwind. The recent sold our album launch show. Rosfest in the US, New Day festival. Loads of them. We love playing live, it’s the connection with the audience, and playing music we wrote in a shed to thousands of people and not being able to believe that people are into it.
Well done on the two Prog Magazine Awards nominations for album cover and band of the year. How does being nominated (and hopefully winning!) awards like this help bands? Do you see a definite upswing in interest on the band’s music on social media and sales?
It’s definitely helped, the band seems to have become a lot more popular in the last 6 months but it’s hard to pinpoint why. 40,000 people watched the Truck video which seems huge to me. We’re really grateful to Prog magazine’s support, they’re lovely people and really open minded and cool. I think we’re a weird band, we don’t in any way sound like a conventional prog band, I think we’re a crossover band, bits of metal, electronic, stoner, psychedelic music, alt rock, us 80’s punk, jazz-rock and all sorts. And each album is different. We listen to Bloc Party and Monster Magnet more than Genesis or Yes! I am amazed how popular it’s become.
What can fans expect on the upcoming shows setlist wise and I take it TFATD are excited to be supporting the legendary Hawkwind?
We love Hawkwind, the current line up are amazing and it’s wonderful they have been so supportive of us and picked us to open for them again. They’re just really cool people. The upcoming gigs will be all about the new album, alongside some surprises.
Message for your fans…
Thank you for staying with us, and we have so much planned for the next few years, I wish I could tell you more….
Thanks Jason for talking to me.
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Each week David Randall presents ‘New to GRTR!’ on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, with the emphasis on independent artists and labels. During December he replays favourite tracks including power plays featured during the year. This show covers the period January-March and was first broadcast on 1 December 2019.
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