By definition, a fledgling is a baby bird that has just developed the feathers necessary for flight. In other contexts, fledgling people or groups are characterized by their inexperience and immaturity. For this reason, I really couldn’t think of a more ironic band name for this group.
We’re All Gonna Die is the February 9th release from The Fledglings, an Austin-based indie pop-rock outfit, currently playing under Ride A Mule Records.
This album, though full of spunk and vibrancy, gives a mature look into these musicians’ everyday lives; the loneliness prompted by constant travel apart from loved ones on the track “Diamonds And Buckets Of Rust;” the senior, yet uncondescending examination of our contemporary culture of know-it-allness on “Babies With Rabies;” and the frustration that follows a failed relationship on “Your Only Regret (Devotion).” Somehow, these serious themes are cleverly masked by a colorful vibe that makes you want to jump or even slow dance along with every song.
There’s an element of experimentation on this record that never goes too far. The sharp synths on “Your Only Regret” most definitely stand out, yet they mesh pretty well with the electric guitars, bass and drums. The suave, beach-y guitars on “Wrong Number Solicitor” bring to mind Johnny Rivers’ “Secret Agent Man” before the track suddenly drifts into a subtly psychedelic phase with flanger guitars and a slowed drum beat.
The experimentation sets this band apart from other indie rock groups. Most of the eight songs on this album are intriguingly dynamic.
The lyricism on “Babies With Rabies” is singer Wayne Stovey’s humorous poke at how everyone seems to be deciding what is right and wrong, while ironically secluding themselves from how others think as well. “Everybody’s wasted / Everybody’s free /Everybody thinks they know just how this world should be.”
Perhaps, “Babies With Rabies,” is a metaphor for millennials who are just too young to have a clear idea of what they’re talking about. Rabies can represent a body of ideas that young people generally subscribe to that can’t really provide the answers for our problems, though we claim they surely can. “Babies with rabies / Dancing with no pants / Won’t you give us another chance?”
The singing on this album is uplifting and fun. There’s certainly vocal chemistry between Stovey and vocalist Kat McNevins, as they really come together in every chorus to create a very complete sound.
Listening to this album was a good time for me. I could see The Fledglings being a great band to see live because, well, almost every song had me dancing like a maniac in my chair. We’re All Gonna Die is worth a listen for anyone who enjoys The Mowgli’s, Grouplove or really any happy music in general. This one will put a smile on your face.
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