This week I bring to you something a little different and brand new from Art Is Hard Records, FEHM! These guys have only been recently signed by the label and released their debut EP, Circadian Life, at the end of month with great success. FEHM are a three-piece establishment who make pissed off post punk tunes influenced from the likes of The Sound and Honey Bane just to name a few. This EP is 21 minutes of pure howling guitars, lashing drums and the heavy vocals of Paul Riddle and what a incredible combination this is. According to the band “the EP as a whole tells a story from start to finish, it’s about seeing the changes that occur in people around you and how we separate over time. More importantly, the EP reflects the monotony of everyday life and peoples’ struggle to achieve what they really want.” So, let’s take a little listen to this 5-track wonder.
First up is I Scared, I Stiff. I have to say I am not the biggest fan of this song partly because of the strange sounds that are created. The whole vibe created is unsettling so to speak which is not really my cup of tea but I have to say towards the end of the track the more upbeat and intense sounds are amazing. Paul’s vocals sound a bit like Morrissey’s with the droning and almost wailing noises created. Towards the end of the track these vocals become more and more meaningful to the listener and you can start to hear the whole path to life theme they have gone for. The sounds created all fit in well and the more I listen to this track the more it grows on me. So, by next week it could be my favourite out of all them but for now it’s a good opening track to start this debut off.
Following on from that its track 2, Circadian Life which is also the title of the album. Now this track is more up my street as it still has those dark vocals but also has incredible guitar sounds. From the start of this track you can tell if you are going to love it or hate it as it’s that type of guitar riff that kicks it all off. Not only is the guitar incredible but it also fills the song full of drama and post punk passion which I have really fallen for in. The whole combination of droning instruments and dark lyrics really gives for a ‘this is life and it kinda sucks’ vibe that FEHM are channelling throughout this EP. To sum it up this is 4 minutes of pure genius guitars, slow tapping drums and deep lyrics full to the brim with gloomy meanings and a real slap round the face back to reality.
Track 3 is next and it not only is my favourite track but is also the one that got me going about these guys. Nullify really reminds me of some of Art Is Hard’s other signed artists such as Sad Culture who produce similar guitar sounds. The type that you can’t stop nodding your head or tapping your foot along to which I think is a necessity to a track on a debut. You have to have one head bagging in your face type of song per EP. It’s almost standard in punk if I’m honest and these guys are only sticking to what I like to call ‘tradition’. Nullify really gets me going, wanting to get up and jump around and be the rebellious teen that I apparently am meant to be. For me it just stands out as something the same but strangely different and off putting. I quite like it to say the least.
Moving onto track 4, Derailed. This starts off with a more techno vibe with slowly progresses into the punk we know and love from FEHM. This track is chilled but still with that same life is one big continuous circle of nothingness vibe. This is helped along by the deeper vocals/lyrics that make it seem that more real and depressing. As much as I love the lyrics the vocals can get a bit monotone at times which for some may be amazing and something different but for me it doesn’t quite fit in some places with the more intense guitar. Other than that small issue, this track really hits that sweet punk spot making for a perfect sounding and techno combination which you don’t seem to get much these days. Different and unique is always good.
The final track of this debut is Fall Into Abjection which is a lovely slow end to the roller-coaster of life, so to speak. Its plucky guitars and louder bass give for a more passion filled and raw almost acoustic vibe. I have a feeling that this is as about as down to earth and stripped back these guys will ever go and I love it. It’s not too laid back and not too toned down but it’s just the right amount of the final track. I couldn’t have placed it in a better track number if I’m honest. The whole vibe they have finished up with really sums up the whole life is a continuous circle theme they went for in this album as that’s all you get when you tune your ears in and take a listen. This has to be up there with my favourite track on this EP. It’s tough to pick.
Overall this debut EP is pure genius and incredible. I could have never imaged something to pass through my ears quite kike it this year but lone behold here I am writing about post punk music. Even if you’re not the biggest fan of post punk this whole EP is very diverse and I would say that 20 minutes of your time listening to this is definitely worthwhile. I look forward to their next set of singles or a new EP from these guys. They have really shaken up my Soundcloud, which is pretty lovely.
Buy the album here: http://artishardrecords.bandcamp.com/album/circadian-life
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