Killer electrorock that lays foundations for the future.
FMLYBND are a strange one to place into a genre. On one hand, they’ve got a pop-rock feel coursing through their Hearts On Fire EP that is blatant for all to see. But at the same time, they are no strangers to hard rock deliveries on the same release – sometimes even in the same song.
Take EP opening track Gold Necklace, for example. It’s all going well and it’s rocking a serious pop-rock feel with a course edge. But as it gets towards its climax, the vocals suddenly kick it up a gear into something that at best sounds a bit like Brian Johnson and, at worst, sounds like a strained hard rock impression. It’s a grey area on how to feel about that part, which is a shame because the rest of the track is a solid number.
Then again, that doesn’t bear too much on the rest of the EP. The rest embrace the pop-rock a lot more, even bordering into Krychek-branded electrorock, with little return to the hard rock vocal. This is much to the benefit of the overall release, with the poptastic Space And Time that seriously would not benefit from that kind of delivery.
When you get beyond that vocal part, the EP is one of the best of the year so far. Musically, there is absolutely no faults. It’s a varied experience, with an almost rough-around-the-edges Passion Pit feel at times and like an electronic Jack White at others. But consistently, from start to finish, the band present themselves as professors of pop, knowing the perfect balance and formula to compose pieces that work in every context.
It’s not without its faults, but few releases are. The underlying sense though is that FMLYBND are an outfit set for great things, and the pop appeal of this EP lays the perfect and most enjoyable groundwork possible.