Connecticut’s self-described psycho-progressive-disco-funk-pop-rock collective Fight the Fear definitely touch on all of those genres over the course of the six sprawling songs on their latest EP Antique Electric but it’s front woman Gabrielle Lakshmi’s powerfully soulful vocals that keep the band from sounding like just another funk-fueled jam band.
However with that being said, the rest of Fight the Fear are no slouches either. Musically they all bring their A game to Antique Electric. However even though they have been writing and recording music together for the past five years, Fight the Fear has stated that during the writing and recording process for Antique Electric it was the first time they all felt they were able to combine all of their musical influences together and make a record which represents the band as a whole unit, rather than just four people trying to emulate a certain type of sound. Perhaps that’s why Lakshmi described Antique Electric as “…our most freeing record yet.”
And Antique Electric is quite a free sounding record indeed, full of funk-infused jam sessions, soulfully sung vocals and straight up rowdy rock n’ roll which begins with the title track “Antique Electric” a song that gets it going right from the beginning with funky bass and shiny guitar riffs. The song then breaks down into a dreamy rock and pop jam until finally returning to the chorus. It is this form that one begins to notice over subsequent tracks, which Fight the Fear likes to stick to. They do so on the following song “Nowhere to Be,” which starts off with island inspired riffs, turns into a long loud rock session and then finally returns to the original riff for a few bars until coming to a close.
“All The Way” starts out poppy and pretty with a thumping bass and scaled back snare setting the mood for the slow build into the jingly chorus. Just a bit past the two-minute mark the song bridges into what sounds like a completely different song before bridging back by means of a short guitar solo, which then brings the listener back to a slightly funkier sounding version of the track’s opening.
However this doesn’t happen on the spacey and synth saturated jam “Echoes” and here Lakshmi gets to put her powerful vocals to the test and show her range, a range which continues on Antiques Electric’s hard hitting “Disco Lust,” which finally finds the band really coming together, and in retrospect makes many of the previous tracks sound as though they weren’t even trying, largely due to the inescapable up-tempo beats, which also help to make “Disco Lust” the record’s most danceable track.
The problem with having too many influences is that they end up crowding up a song to the point that it sounds like someone is flipping through radio stations and that takes away from universal cohesive theme that an album should possess. And although there is no denying the immense musical talent all four members of Fight the Fear possess, being able to play your instruments well is only one part of being in a successful band. For the casual listener, Antique Electric is a fun head-bobber of an album. Though the sense I get is that Fight the Fear is not going to be content with the casual listener for long. To reach a wider audience they will have to themselves fight the fear, casting a cold hard eye on where they’ve been in order to keep from making the same record time and again, a trap that so many bands of this kind fall victim to.
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