Fear Like Us – Succour
OUT 6th May, 2016
Fear Like Us Line Up –
Kim Wall // Guitar & Vocals
Lauren Hammel // Drums & Percussion
Jamie Hay // Vocals & Guitar
Babor Kaemmerling // Bass
Mark Jennings // Mandolin & Acoustic Guitar
Fear Like Us
Melbourne seems to be the Australian hub for great music (to me anyway; King Parrot, High Tension, Colossvs, case closed) and continues to be, as folk punk group Fear Like Us grace my ears and add more weight to this argument. Formed in 2004, they have continued to expand their sound and with their second release, Succour, on the horizon, the band has a chance, after a long wait, to showcase their broad appeal and mature songwriting capabilities.
Whilst obviously not as heavy as the aforementioned bands, they do play quite good music, almost reminiscent of Brand New with the levels of emotion that are on show, as well as acoustic sections covered with heavily intense lyrics, not just in words, but in feeling. The vast array of sounds that are available on this album are honestly enough to sate everyone’s needs and wants, Fear Like Us are, putting it plainly, very good at what they do.
A real highlight of Succour is Jamie Hay’s vocals. They’re gravelly yet smooth all at the same time. This mixture is on perfect display on tracks ‘Red Ochre’ and ‘Dire’ (my favourite). Not only are his vocal talents great but the subject matter is unequivocally suited to his style. Deep emotional narratives stretch through the album, coupled with strong political statements like ‘Who Killed Reza Berati?’ and ‘The Face of War, Washed Upon the Shore’. Everything just flows perfectly.
Mark Jennings acoustic additions are probably one of the things that make the band so relatable on a personal level, giving all of the songs their earthy, folksy signature. ‘The Lowest Form of Love’ is ideal for this, little twangs that reach over the top of the mix at times really offer more depth and feeling, complimenting the other instruments and tying everything together, sounding at times almost like the perfect companion to get lost in the wilderness with.
The percussion on this album is another large positive, which help it separate itself from the likes of Smith Street Band and Blueline Medic. The work of Lauren Hammel resounds throughout Succour to give their sound a very unique feel; the splashes of her cymbals and hi-hats echo perfectly with the rhythm of every song. ‘Revolution Bummer’ has a real punk feel, whilst ’The Face of War, Washed Upon the Shore’ is a perfect rendition of the elements of acoustic guitar, folk vocals and splashy drums, a true representation of Fear Like Us.
Everything about Fear Like Us leads to a very sobering listening experience. My advice is to take this album on a hike or sit and look at the ocean one day, because this is what it evokes, images of Australia at it’s most natural, relatable and sometimes sombre. Succour is truly a hallmark in the genre, especially in the burgeoning scene of folk/indie rock, setting itself apart and rising above the rest.
You can order the album via Poison City Records here.
1. The Gaslightning Anthem
2. Revolution Bummer
3. Red Ochre
5. The Lowest Form of Love
6. Who Killed Reza Berati?
7. Raze It to the Ground
8. Over the Falls
9. Dry Riverbed
10. The Face of War, Washed Upon the Shore