Having spent the best part of a decade writing material and switching between band names, Fans of Faye’s fans primarily come from the Midlands’ live scene. New album ‘Designed To Be’ sees them attempting to branch out of the local scene and go national.
Kicking off with title track ‘Designed To Be’, Fans of Faye’s intro of gentle guitars and twinkly piano quickly transforms into a pounding chorus of a toned-down 30 Seconds To Mars grandiose, epic-sounding with passionate vocals.
Already released as a single, ‘Paint The Sun’ sounds similar (exactly the same) to literally any song by Futures; let’s just hope Fans of Faye don’t also fall victim to the difficult music industry too.
With a far rockier riff, ‘I’m Not Your Artwork’ could have been a new gig anthem but the tentative vocals let it down. By ‘Are You Finished?’ everything continues to sound very, very pretty although, for the fans of heavier music out there, you’ll end up longing for the band to just turn the volume up and shout a bit louder.
From ‘Reckless’ onwards the band sound a little like Twin Atlantic were they born in Hertfordshire not Glasgow. Every song has the potential to be a hit, all relatable lyrics, catchy riffs, and dark choruses. Group vocals and a despairing chorus will implant ‘Bloodshed’ as a fan favourite and it’s obvious why the band’s already loyal fan base supports them so often on the live circuit.
During ‘Ghost’ we finally get to hear the boys’ louder side with a song of drums that drive through the verses to an angry chorus, the kind you stick on in the morning before the awful day ahead. ‘Handlebars’’ quieter, harmonic beginning bounces into life with a brooding second half, bound to pull on plenty of heartstrings. The long-winded outro is a sure sign this is the song the band wanted you to listen to.
Album ender ‘Swing With Me’ cranks the emo: rock ratio up a little, rounding off a brilliant collection of emotionally-driven rock music.
Tweeting about IKEA meatballs, winning cuddly toys, and showering with their sunglasses on, you wouldn’t expect the lyrics that lead singer Zachary Hart and co. create as each song sounds like a short story we’ve sat down to be told. The favourite subject of most musicians – relationships – is heavily covered but with a fresh take on things.
The only bad thing about the album really is the naff album cover, adorned with a floating, bridal-looking woman. Cheese factor: 10. Music-wise, this is a solid rock record. In the middle of a music genre that’s already packed to the rafters, that has seen many of its new bands split up in the early years of their careers, the originality and perseverance Fans of Faye have can only bring good things.