Sunday, November 21, 2010

Fear 2 Stop - Afghan Bound

Hear The Track Here

Oh come, come. Surely we have passed the stage where you all hide under the stairs whenever I mention those three words? Which three words? Why, Fear 2 Stop of course, although technically that's two words and a number and this is me dancing on the head of a pin (Ed: and obviously high again). I've been living in the past a lot just lately. Not my past, you understand because that would just be too, too much but someone else's. Fear 2 Stop actually, who - as you do - have been browsing through their *-*-*-*i-n-g enormous back catalog and compiling a retrospective Anthology which I have been working my way through over the last week or so. Afghan Bound, despite it's topical title, is so old that 'it not only predates us being Fear 2 even predates us being Sanity's Requiem (our name until Oct 2002)' says Billy Castillo, one third of the trio.

Hence, me being covered in cobwebs and don't say I didn't see you looking and wondering.

It just goes to show that the Fear 2 Stop that makes you hide under the stairs, has ALWAYS been like that. When I first met them in 2003 or so, they had become quite sophisticated compared to a lot of the Anthology, and I gave them the most awful time for a while as a reviewer and I think that was probably down to what I expected from them as a listener, rather than what they wanted to do. That, really, the the key to this band and the reason why you either love them or hate them and I know for sure what camp I am in. Although their early work was, as Afghan Bound shows, somewhat chaotic and definitely, irrevocably odd.

On balance there is no question that I prefer their newer incarnations but, considering the amount of material I have heard from this three piece, a trip down memory lane is often useful, even if it contains the occasional nightmare. From this vantage point, it is obvious that I misjudged the band initially - as did many others - but the one thing that has been constant is the sound of sticking to guns. Odd is what Fear 2 Stop do, and with their idiosyncratic use of digital and analog, electro and cheese with a healthy dose of **** knows, are one of the most singular voices Soundclick contains. Rambling through their back pages is quite a treat.

Hoax or history? You decide. Recommended wtf-ry.

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