The Fawn Spots – From Safer Place – Album Review

From Safer Place is the debut album from York-based punk trio Fawn Spots.  I am going to confess it took me a few listens to click into this one. I like to listen to things a few times on my iPod before I start to write and thats exactly what I did with this.  On first listen you pick up the energy with distortion heavy guitars and on the vocals.  To these old ears at least I found it hard to make sense of the vocals which are perhaps a little bit too low in the mix.

After a few listens though  it all falls into place and you start to make sense of it.  I am really glad I persevered because, as is so often the case, with this kind of guitar driven punk the intricacies of the album don’t start to become clear until you have settled things in your mind.  Once you do that the rewards start to arrive.

It is hard to believe that Fawn Spots are a trio because they really do produce a wall of sound but within that there is a real sense of intricacy and and complexity woven through the songs.  On the track Remains the intro reminded me of early Jam.  This Is A Modern World to be precise.

Track 08 is an instrumental piece In Front Of The Chestnut and I guess it was here that my listening appetite was truly whetted and where the album started to make sense for me.  Shorn of the vocal this track really reminded my of Joy Division once I understood that I had it cracked.  The vocal fell into place in the same way that Ian Curtis’s vocal did, you had to work for the rewards with Joy Division and so it is here.

This is an album that pulsates with tension and energy, it is raw and enthusiastic, the sort of energy that will work any self respecting Mosh pit into a sweating pulsing frenzy.  It takes you on a roller coaster ride and after a while when you can anticipate where the biggest thrills are going to be you enjoy it even more because the anticipation adds a little something extra.

For all of the energy and the sense of drama there is a melodic intricacy throughout the album, check out the riffs at times they are almost delicate.  There are most certainly contrasts of light and dark, both in the music and in the lyrics as you are thrust headfirst into its roaring surge.

Fawn Spots formed in 2011, with Jonathan Meager and Oliver Grabowski on vocals and guitars, and recent addition Paddy Carley on drums, Fawn Spots intention for their debut was to “capture the band in its purest form”and I think they have done that.  I think Fawn Spots will be tremendous to see live and I look forward to that experience immensely.

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About The Sound of Summer

Hi, I am Alan. I live in Broadstone, Dorset with my wife, Shirley, my son, Ryan and two dogs called Bailey and Jasper. I have recently retired after working in the Armed Forces and in Public Service since 1977 so I now have a bit more time to do the things I love. Music is a huge part of my life and always has been. I have a broad taste in music and can find something to enjoy in most styles of music. I have always been attracted to music which has something to say, is outside the mainstream and is perhaps a bit rebellious. I guess my early influences were late 1970's Punk and new wave bands, especially those who came out of Northern Ireland where I grew up. I loved Stiff Little Fingers, The Undertones, Rudi, Starjets etc but also bands like The Ramones, The Clash, The Jam and so on. I like singer songwriters including Van Morrison, Springsteen, Neil Young & Bob Dylan and in recent years I have become more interested in folk and acoustic music but I also love the sort of high drive energetic Folk/Punk music delivered by bands like The Levellers, Leatherat, Ferocious Dog and many others who frequent the UK Festival scene. I have long since lost the desire to spend my holidays laying around in the sun and these days am much more likely to be found in a muddy field somewhere in the UK during the festival season.

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