Saturday 25 May 2013

Fairewell - Nether Edge EP

EP review by

The debut album from Fairewell'Poor, Poor Grendel', never quite received the recognition it deserved. This may in part be down to promotion issues: Fairewell has a strong dislike of playing live, or rather the logistics of it all as opposed to the actual performance part, so gigs have been few and far between. As a shoegaze/dreampop album it was one of the best of the year, but new EP 'Nether Edge' is a different kettle of fish. We're not saying this isn't a good record, far from it, it's more that it seems to be a collection of spare parts rather than a cohesive work. Bits of ideas that didn't quite fit anywhere else, although it shouldn't be the reserve of hardcore fans. There may be, however, the odd song that the casual fan will skip.

The start is familiar enough; a slow-building and elegant dreampop number that would maybe have nestled into the album quite happily. 'Christmas And Summer Forever Never' isn't far off either, but it's a sparser track, made from nothing more than an acoustic guitar. Then things take a strange turn. 'Nether Edge' is eight-and-a-half minutes of spoken word storytelling that's just plain weird and occasionally creepy, yet it's fascinating. Even though it can be repetitive it's difficult to interrupt it; it has to be listened to in full whether it makes sense or not. Contrasting this totally is the clanging instrumental 'Only The Dead Are Smiling', a quite lovely, lo-fi track that again doesn't really fit anywhere, and this is to its credit. Finally the EP closes with a stripped down version of album track 'Others Of Us' (known as the 'Hospital Version') which is another lo-fi sounding song. It may be a bunch of misfits but that kind of sums up Fairewell himself; one of the most interesting musical misfits we currently have.

Fairewell's website

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