General Fiasco – Unfaithfully Yours (Review)
Review by Jack Foley
NORTHERN Ireland’s General Fiasco earn their stripes with their latest album, Unfaithfully Yours, which is shot through with catchy indie-pop anthems.
Recorded with Rocky O’Reilly in Belfast last year and boasting new guitarist/keyboard player Stuart Bell as part of their line-up, this feels fresher and more vital than their debut and looks set to elevate the band still higher into the public consciousness.
Not every track hits home but when they hook it up and get it right, the results are empowering and brilliant. And their song-writing is diverse enough to offer tales of frustration, disappointment and the drive to push on when you feel like giving in.
The standouts on this LP come in the form of current single, Bad Habits, which combines the heavy with the melodic in exemplary fashion to deliver an arms in the air moment of pure exhilaration. The hooks are terrific from the outset, while the chorus is catchy as hell and driven by a “hey, be my world” anthem chant that’s ripe for sing-along.
Catchy, too, is the melodic Waves, which again gets under your skin from the moment it kicks off. The guitars are vital, the melodies tight and the chorus, with its central refrain of “and I go back, like a wave to the shore”, impossibly, head-noddingly great.
The bittersweet Hollows is a great track, too, with more of a punk-pop leaning reminiscent of Green Day, while there’s a rousing, no-nonsense slice of drive-rock on the head-rush The Age You Start Losing Friends.
That said, for all the power they employ at certain points, General Fiasco are also capable of slowing down the tempo and coming over just as impressive.
Sleep, for instance, is all cute hooks and catchy melodies that keep the wilder tendencies nicely in check, while the piano backed This Is Living has a tenderness about it that’s disarming… with Owen Strathern’s vocals at their most heart-broken and poignant.
The Bottom, similarly, rounds off the album in stripped back, endearing fashion to showcase the band’s ability to mix the tempos, while Temper Temper also delivers another cracking shot of energy as the penultimate track.
Put together, and occasional ordinary moment aside (step forward Closer), this is a cracking follow-up album from General Fiasco that could well promote this band to the really big leagues.
Download picks: Bad Habits, Waves, Hollows, Sleep, Temper Temper, The Bottom