FANGZ – But No Thanks EP
Released: July 17th, 2020
Josh Cottreau | vocals
Jameel Majam | bass
Steve Woodward | drums
Samuel Sheumack | guitars
A distinguished magician by the name of Al Leech once wrote: “Real misdirection deceives not only the eye of the spectator, but his mind as well”.
When this scribe encountered Sydney’s party-hard-rockers FANGZ, the intrigue became rather inescapable – their imagery suggested a grimy raw punk appearance with a total disregard attitude to the “rules of music” if there are any, and their own safety. The excitement of discovering an outfit along the lines of The Bronx, A Wilhelm Scream and The Ghost Of A Thousand was almost uncontrollable; this writer was armed for a ‘Fun Time’ of unpolished pulverising punk that would soak and drench my appetite with numerous cold beers in tow. However, misdirection is an integral step of deception and upon listening to the quartet’s But No Thanks EP, an impression of ‘Style Over Everything’ seemed more than fitting.
Nevertheless, misdirection and deception are fundamental components to magic; although FANGZ’ musical formula was not as expected, there is more than enough here to allure rock’n’roll aficionados. The production is extremely slick thanks to Stevie Knight (Stand Atlantic) and James Paul Wisner (Hands Like Houses) which in turn creates a refined and shining sound that towers over countless outfits utilising a similar recipe and puts But No Thanks on an international level. But, the gloss takes away from the gross, which is a bit disenchanting because it does take away from FANGZ’ character and “party harditude”. In a sense, the four-piece have a musical skeleton of John Coffey, but their recorded output sound-wise is more along the lines of Billy Talent and Scary Kids Scaring Kids.
Do not be discouraged, this element boosts the infectious sing-along factor that vocalist Josh Cottreau has brilliantly crafted through the entire five tracks. Furthermore, his voice sails extravagantly boosted by the tactful and lavish rock bursting from Samuel Sheumack (guitar), Steve Woodward (drums) and Jameel Majam (bass).
Opener ‘Drifter’ could almost pass as a track by the aforementioned Scary Kids Scaring Kids; catchy and glistening post-hardcore with just a little bit of roughness added to amplify adrenaline. ‘Victims’ sounds eerily similar to the start of Grinspoon’s ‘Pedestrian’ but performed and rewritten by LoveHateHero. ‘Falling Out’ has the instruction of latter era Four Letter Lie with an excellent Australian command and ‘Don’t Forget’ recalls Across Five Aprils, who would undoubtedly approve and admire this cut.
The closer and victory of the EP is the single ‘Who Are We Now’ – the party anthem. If Dead Poetic collaborated with Young Lions and Sugarcult it would almost capture how singable this tune is, almost. It is made for closing parties and live shows which the world is missing so much right now; hell this track could close the first night of a festival.
But No Thanks indisputably has its magic moments, but it is not quite miraculous. However, the potential is borderline immeasurable. If FANGZ were an animal, their For Nothing EP would have them as a thresher shark – athletic, eager and refined. Therefore, following this metaphor: But No Thanks finds the four-piece as a tiger shark – bigger, hungrier and exceedingly more dangerous. What comes next is conceivably the Great White and hopefully FANGZ will develop the musical teeth for those murderous jaws; for now they have left rock music lovers with a tasty bite.
FANGZ – But No Thanks EP tracklisting:
3. Falling Out
4. Don’t Forget
5. Who Are We Now