The English folk rock outfit Five Fathoms Deep take a more pop and rock viewpoint towards their style of folk. There are big walls and swells of sound here and they don’t wade through the dark times with the heavy and sad weariness that so many previous folk artists have made their name on. Instead no matter what the subject, we always seem to have a strong feeling of patriotism and honor backing the stories behind these lyrics. There is hope here and there is also a very upbeat and motivational feel to the music of the kind that will make you want to stomp your boots to the floor if you’re wearing any that is.
From what I gather the force that Five Fathoms Deep brings to these four songs on their debut EP Inglenook has been long gathered from them being a strictly live band. For anyone that knows even the remotest things about music is that the difference between a live show and the recording process are often very different. Live you have the crowd’s energy to feed off of and just the sheer adrenaline that comes with performing. Recording however can be long and boring and one stops when a mistake is made. One goes back and touches things up and reworks. There is no crowd watching, just a man in the control booth.
Given this being their first recording I thought that Five Fathoms Deep brought the intensity of a live performance to Inglenook. From the very opening moments of the EP which blasts off with “Sullied” that does a wonderful job trading off on male and female vocal duties and on which the band as a whole really dial up and down the intensity as they see fit. This intensity turns to an even finer scope on “Hourglass” which runs a gamut of tempos and emotions and eventually blows up into an all out folk rock assault to close it up. But they also know how to turn it down just as well as they can turn it up on the somber and beautiful ballad “Dandelion.”
Inglenook is an EP full of very intensely fueled songs both musically and vocally. It has footings in the past as well as it takes steps into the future of the genre itself. They have a fervor for writing songs that come from the gut though, which is what I really appreciated most, that one could really believe everything one heard, and despite their penchant for being a live act, they found a way to bring that energy into the studio and capture it to tape.
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