Thursday, January 18, 2007

Fear 2 Stop - Crawlspace

Hear The Track Here

I'm really not sure what Billy Castillo's thing is but I do know the guy is a science fiction nut. Speaking as someone who reads people like Peter M Hamilton one of my favourite new science fiction authors who doesn't write books, he manufactures worlds. The Nights Dawn trilogy alone weighs in at three volumes of 1200+ pages each book. Gave me a hernia getting the damn things back from the library. Some of the best space opera I ever read and this from a person who grew up devouring some of Sci-Fi Golden Age authors such as Asimov, Clarke, Ellison. If you liked Rama or Return to Rama by Arthur C Clarke, then Peter Hamilton is the widerscreen version. So, its a given that I'm into anything to do with the subject but - to be honest - I have found that so called 'science fiction' sounds such as those espoused by Pink Floyd, Hawkwind et al or even Fear 2 Stop themselves who have given me several examples of this outside interest in the past.

I think I said much the same thing on those occasions too.

Mind you, given the hefty set of musical bollocks this Texas band has developed over the past year or so, this may be something else I may have to change my mind about. According to the song blurb this is 'heavily influenced by late-60s movie soundtracks' which makes all I wrote above sci-fi nerdtwaddle totally redundant (Ed: Oh? There's a thing eh?) but all the nitpicking aside, it's the music which either does it or not. Or, much more to the point, can Fear 2 Stop sustain their incredible run of great tracks that typified much of the year just gone. Although I have to admit that some of the sounds - on first listening anyway - bothered me a bit but sustained exposure soon wore off the rough edges. Although it's considerably less immediate as some of last year's highlights, the production standard that powered last years track is now undoubtedly a F2S staple.

Musically, I think this has more to do with the older version of Fear 2 Stop that most of struggled with and is - essentially - an exercise in the use of rhythms. There isn't the solidness that tracks like Dishevelled delivered but I suspect that is down to the complexity of the rhythms being used. Not that the arrangement is complex, just the layering that the band have used to create that 'chase scene' scenario it is supposed to represent. For a Fear 2 Stop fan this will soon join its bredden on your hard drive, and may be sufficiently worthy enough to gather yet more fans but what it isn't is on a par with the very best last year provided from this outfit - and therein lies the problem with relative success. You are always going to be judged by it. Mind you, seeing as this is already #1 on the electronica:experimental sounds and the band has the kind of numbers in terms of plays and stations playing that would make lesser mortals weep, Fear 2 Stop can afford the odd oddity. And this is it.

Recommended Experimental electronica.

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