Reviewed by Clare Mullaniff
This popular London four-piece, who formed in 2006 have toured with big leagues like: UB40 and Foreigner and have achieved critical acclaim unusual for a band with so little material released. In fact, ‘Alamein’ is their first full-length album, one that has been highly anticipated by fans.
From the first track, The Fuse have the unmissable sound of a band seasoned beyond their years. All instruments are perfectly in time, with music and vocals complimenting each other impeccably. Reminiscent of 30 Seconds to Mars circa ‘This is War’ era, ‘Black Lion’ is an attention grabbing album opener that says “we mean business”.
The second and third tracks are so easy to listen to, with well-written lyrics and a polished sound. This is definitely a band that spends a lot of time in post-production smoothing everything, with a definite idea of what kind of music they want to produce; not necessarily a bad thing.
Track five, ‘White Shark’, is reminiscent of Bowie with a little modern electronica thrown in, but the lyrics get somewhat repetitive. ‘Rainbows’ is an off-track in my opinion, with questionable lyrics, disinteresting guitar riffs and too-basic drum rhythms. However, it turned out to be the one song I find myself humming after!
They say genius works in mysterious ways right? Track seven: easy going with a sweet backstory of the lead singer’s memory of riding bikes home from parties at night in Oxford. Dangerous? Yes! But, sweet and nostalgic.
‘Paint this Town’ and ‘Phantom’ are predictable and ‘samey’, which again is not necessarily a bad thing for a lot of people. The Fuse have clearly honed their image and sound since their debut. Their old track ‘Reload’, while a decent attempt for a new band, showcases the band’s progression and improvement at creating a distinct look and sound. The idea behind ‘Phantom’ is interesting – a goddess that can be turned to in times of need.
Track ten is as-good-a-track as any to end the album. It’s not much different to any previous track. In general, I can see why this band is so popular in the U.K – there is an air of confidence and professionalism to the album that would translate well to a live audience. They know who they are and are clearly on the way to getting there, and further, with no shortage of live shows and fans.
The band seem to have skipped the dodgy experimental album stage and arrived straight at the – this is who we are, this is how we sound – stage that many bands crave. The years of touring with big names and at festivals definitely helped there. ‘Alamein’ is an album that is well put together by musicians who know what they’re doing, and will be enjoyed by fans new and old.
Top tracks: Misfit, Rainbows, 3 AM.
Release date: September 2015