Album Review : F.O.E.S – Ophir (EP)

1920100_293270150820401_4381225_nFormed only a year ago (January 2013), we had already heard about this intriguing Liverpool-based band F.O.E.S (Fall Of Every Sparrow) when they released their song Sewn to the Sail & Unknown. And I loved it. Not only because it is a good song (obviously) but also because it had something different and exciting, which comes quite as a treasure nowadays. After a few months with no particular news from them, we now do know what F.O.E.S have been up to, as they proudly present today their debut E.P ‘Ophir’.

‘Ophir’ is that kind of release that takes you a few listens to understand and maybe appreciate (though I personally liked it since the first time), but that you will listen to anyway and more than once. Because ‘Ophir’ sets a particular, mysterious atmosphere that stirs up unhealthy curiosity to say the least. With its heavy riffs, contrasting with some beautiful melodies and all topped by Chris Mackrill’s tender vocals, this E.P has something magical but also spectacular in the sense that it easily could have been a perfect soundtrack for a mysterious film d’auteur.

Kicking off very calmly, with previously released song Sewn to the Sail & Unknown, the first tracks of the EP quietly set the tone, showcasing progressively what are F.O.E.S about, but without showing too much. It’s alsmost as if the listener was slowly taken into a journey, while a relaxing and tender voice is telling them a story. The tracks are quite strong and complementary, which makes things very smooth, however Ningyo (lead single) has something a little bit different which can contrast with the rest of the release as it’s an emotional, quiet number. And of course there’s nothing wrong with it and rightly so, I find it very interesting when bands know how to remain coherent when multiplying their influences and the way they sound. For instance, F.O.E.S have the ability to create something unique from a blend of alt/heavy/indie/post rock, which is great. The thing with Ningyo is that it was the point where I wondered how such a young band could make such touching music, from Joe Danher’s leading guitars to those balanced drum-beats, that actually arouse one’s senses?
The First Rock To Flee As The Thunder Rolls In – (I love those song-titles) – closes the release with more dynamics and the first seconds sound explosive. It’s also a long track that takes you back to the different states of mind and emotions provided by each one of the other songs individually, but at the same time heavily contrasting with them. See for instance the shouting backing vocals that are also present on The Writing On The Wall, or the excellent Four of Oxblood.
‘Ophir’ is an interesting debut release, especially knowing F.O.E.S are only in their first year or existence. Things can probably go quickly huge for them if they continue pushing things forward.

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F.O.E.S – “Ophir”; released on 10.02.2014. (self release)

 

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Mary
I have a tendency to seek for new sounds and humbly contribute to its living. I'm a dreamer, I live for today and take the time to appreciate every single thing that life has to offer.

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