The Fierce And The Dead – If It Carries On Like This We Are Moving To Morecambe

This is a curious one for me. If It Carries On Like This We Are Moving To Morecambe is an instrumental album by a three-piece band, one of whom happens to be Matt Stevens, the well-known (in not well-known circles) guitarist. Unusually, from what I can hear on this album, he doesn’t have a guitarist’s ego, in that he does not dominate the album in a showy way; he just comes up with interesting sounds, fascinating loops and other effects that complement the tidy, tight rhythms of bassist and drummer Kev Feazey and Stuart Marshall.

You may have gathered already that its not a metal album, so I’m out of my comfort zone from the get go.

The album starts with some weird noises before then the bass lopes in and we get a very bouncy track urged along by the drums and the guitar doing all sorts of interesting, ambient things as well as a little bit of crunchiness, which is always welcome.

I guess I’d say it sounds something like Radiohead post-1997 but not so avant-garde (i.e not so rubbish) and without any singing, of course.

The second track, “Part 2″, trips along quite agreeably but halfway through the guitars dramatically crash in and my rock sensibilities are briefly pricked.

Track 3, “The Wait”, is quiet and slow.

Track 4, “H.R.”, starts off quiet and then explodes with some fierce guitar.

Track 5, “Hotel No.6″, is background ambient music.

Track 6, “Landcrab”, is a two minute noisy thrash.

Track 7, “Daddies Little Helper”, is actually rather lovely for the first half but then we get some weird saxophone jazz stuff to finish with and that is never going to do it for me.

I see on the web a lot of favourable reviews and that’s perfectly fair. I also see a number of reviews written as if for a creative-writing class. That’s not my thing. I don’t ever want to intellectualise an album or explain to you what it is about an album that means you should like it.

You do or you don’t.

The playing throughout The Fierce and the Dead album is first-rate by all three musicians and the production is excellent so sonically its a very pleasurable listening experience.

However, my overall feeling is that I question whether being perfectly agreeable is enough. I mean, I like the album up to a point but I wonder how many times I will actually play it. Some of it appeals to the Oceansize-side of me but it doesn’t have that spark, that edge to really engage me and which would make me listen to it over and over again.

Fans of instrumental rock will almost certainly like it, and other reviews suggest this is the case, which is cool. I like it too, but I wish I liked it a little more.

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Welcome , today is Friday, July 1, 2011