Brighton, UK’s power popsters Fear of Men have descended on NYC for a BrooklynVegan-sponsored event at the Bowery Ballroom. They are out on tour promoting their new album Fall Forever that breaks into wider snythpop territory but still lives within the dark emotional nether regions from which they first arose.
The show started with the NY band Ski Lodge who I hadn’t heard much from for a while, but they are back with a new EP aptly entitled New Life, but they still sound like 80’s Brit rock/pop band that we all know and love. Frontman Andrew Marr (formerly of the Clementines) still croons like Morresey and anthems like Michael Hutchence, but I was sad to hear at the show that they would be loosing their lead guitarist soon to the West Coast, especially as his jangly guitar was so pivotal to the sound of the band.
Then L.A.’s Puro Instinct came bursting in like a shimmering pop glitterblast of 80’s nostalgia of a whole different kind. Much like the previous band, this sister duo had quite a bit of buzz a few years back, but then they seemed to drop out of sight for a while. Their new album Autodrama was just dropped, and there is some weightier Slowdive-type elements to their typically light and sunny dream pop sound, but seeing them live now reminds me more of modern Katy Perry rather than the vintage Madonna they once brought to mind.
Fear of Men’s Jessica Weiss suffers from none of that pop tendinitis though, as her ethereal voice booms from heavens and lands straight into your heart. She is a spitfire of pure molten energy and is propelled into the stars by a truly excellent band, and it feels as though there is no stopping their hot yet strangely dark power. Oddly enough, they previously had a more restrained British melon collie sound more reminiscent of Camera Obscura or Belle or Sebastian, but they too have brought back the poppy jangle-guitars to help reawaken their darker tones to a warmer romantic tone. They sounded excellent and Weiss’ solo acoustic version of “Alta” as an encore was nothing short of sublime.
Article: Dean Keim