FEWS - Means - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

FEWS - Means

by Mark Steele Rating:8 Release Date:2016-05-22

Coming in at just over 30 mins is the 10 track album Means from London-based four-piece Swedish band and one of new breed of sonospheric wizards in town; FEWS. This album Means - produced by Dan Carey (Bats For Lashes/Toy) - starts our journey with a pulsative synth pattern on the Instrumental 'I.D.', then in comes the delayed/reverbed guitar chiming next to a roaming lo-fi overdriven, grating guitar orchestra, followed by compressed drums and chugging bass.

A chase theme scene in a 70's student art horror movie seems fit on 'The Zoo', containing menacing drums and bass that race along underneath some spectral gasps cleverly slotted in. Then vocals as a collective, does closely recall early-era The Stone Roses or even say Kasabian, which once gotten used to begins shrieking to despairing levels. The slowdown eventually has guitars fading out into the distance.

The bright and graceful arpeggiated guitar lines on 'Drinking Games' coax along the harmonised vocals into a jazzy starry night expanse. On 'The Queen' you could imagine how Sting and Co of The Police, would have sounded, if they were sent on a journey through the vast heavenly horizons searching for a celestial queen love interest. The same effect can be found on later farout track; 'If Things Go On lIke This'.

The frantic guitar mid-riffery on '10 Things' coupled with bumbling bass, motorik drum attack and cruising vocals on take you down a melacholic corridor. Whilst the vocals are quickened and hold a certain anguish on '100 Goosebumps' the distant guitar arpeggios are slow,  then double up speed as the drums and bass piledrive along. The overdriven guitar pattern brings in other worldly vocals, 'Keep On My Telling Myself', drifts off into post-punk oblivion. A full-on start on 'If Things Go On Like This', has the unison melancholic melody, a song longing to convince you to have enough belief in someone. The ending loop of the song is well, eerie, though it seems to lead well into the next track 'Zlatan', which has been discovered is the name for a mock google browser. This aside we can still hear The Stone Roses contained in the melodic phrasing in the instrumentation and vocals.

Final track 'III' has a vast noise cavern containing a mantra like guitar riff and synth layers, upon further listening it has that Hawkwind motorik beat, plus an ascending -descending phaser effect on the guitars. A trip inducing interdimensional track that lures you into being one with it - except that by the time you realise that, the track finishes.

The sound-fabric weaved on Means by the band, could be labelled as Trance-Punk, in essence , due to it's unison melodic approach, hypnotic layered droning, uptempo relentless rhythms.  There are similar sounds found with other current guitar bands at the moment. Yet, while many bands seem to be merely functional in their approach, FEWS seem to possess an other worldly, and even a transcendant dimensional draw to their music. It is as though the songs come from a accessible lucid plane in a parellel dreamworld. This is a confident and intelligently mesmerising effort by a band, who are able to take us all on a journey to the other side, if only we would climb aboard.
 

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