Friday, April 18, 2014

"Descent"- Fear of Men

Dream-pop trio Fear of Men make relationships sound absolutely torturous. When they're gliding along on the sunny fizzles and fuzzes of "Luna", Janet Weiss hits the E-brake to whisper "I've tried my best to destroy you." Whatever goals the couple once had have deteriorated into a competition fueled by stubborn pride and a profound unwillingness to see the writing on the wall. In writhing slow-number "Outrun Me", unwillingness is transcribed into a refusal to leave behind something wholly familiar. Experiencing love for the first time is a magnificent thing, but having to move on can be agonizing. It's devastating, and only in that wreckage do you realize the cliché "you never forget your first" exists for a reason.

The devastation on display in the Brighton-group's latest effort "Descent", is far more subtle but no less monumental. When Weiss softly exhales "cause I have you" in the sparkling chorus, you think you're hearing of an unshakable friendship that James Taylor and Carole King would approve of. The type of friendship that puts you closest to your actual-self, where there's very little you have to hide. A friend who will pull you out of "nothingness" as Weiss puts it in the jangly intro. It sounds so blissful, something anyone would sign up for in an instant. But few would sign on the dotted line after hearing Weiss recount "spending half my life next to you." All of the time spent is taxing, to the point Weiss can't even finish her thought; she can only offer a disconsolate "oooh." Then you realize a life-long relationship isn't always liberating, it can also be a prison sentence you never come back from. You'll watch the days go by, marking them off in chalk, and pray for anything to take you away.

Fear of Men's debut LP Loom is out April 21 in the UK and April 22 in the U.S. through Kanine Records.

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