FRET! - A Vanity Spawned By Fear

Fret! - A Vanity Spawned By Fear

8 songs
24:45 minutes
***** ***
Cruel Nature


From way up north in England come Fret!, a noise rock trio that was founded in 2011. Their latest effort A Vanity Spawned By Fear is their second longplayer and their fifth release if you also count singles and EPs. The two guys (guitarist and drummer/vocalist) plus one woman (bassist/vocalist) have a rather straightforward take on their chosen genre. Donít expect any glossy production moments. Instead it all sounds like an unfiltered cigarette tastes: harsh and with bitter scratching feeling, and yet listening to Fret! is like smoking an unfiltered Gauloise: it will grow hair on your chest.

But seriously now! Fret! might have adopted the noise rock sound of the late Eighties and early Nineties, with emo and screamo elements added by the shared vocals. While the drummer is screeching and screaming through the songs, the bassist adds a more emotional although not always very melodic counterpart, preventing the music to sound tame. The albumís first half is truly ferocious, starting with the instrumental Belly, a masterpiece in formal noise rock, followed by Hucknall, a somewhat atonal onslaught with screeching hardcore vocals and latter an ethereal female vocal part that instead of consoling rather adds a spooky touch. Davy gives us more hardcore, before the first half ends with Is That All There Is?, another short instrumental.

The second half is a little more melodic and features some longer tracks. SUSD is a nearly five-minute-long noise rock attack with emphasis on the wailing female vocals set over a sludgy instrumental part. Vibes is at forty seconds another instrumental and the albumís shortest track. With Cowboy follows another fast hardcore noise rock track before the album ends too soon with the nearly seven minute long Country, which is the moodiest piece featured here.

This may be at not even half an hour a rather short longplayer, but I like the way the trio combines their instrumentals, their hardcore tracks and their sludgier noise rock pieces into a very varied ensemble. Hi-fi aficionados are not the target audience, but those who like their rock music direct and straight in your face, like delivered right from the rehearsal room, will be delighted by the uncompromising delivery by Fret!.

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