Australia boasts an impressive list of rock and roll alumni, from legendary AC/DC to modern garage heroes like Eddy Current Suppression Ring. Now a squad of rascals from Sydney aim to take their place alongside their forebears. The Fixators' debut EP Wide Awake introduces listeners to six songs dealing with classic rock and roll themes of love, loneliness and loss although not necessarily in that order. Fair enough, but how does it sound?
The Fixators play guitar-focused rock music with a glam edge. The songs rarely exceed mid-tempo speeds, allowing time for the hooks, real The Strokes and Bloc Party inspired stuff, to sink in. Vocalist and rhythm guitarist Matthew Lidbetter lends his street corner singing to songs that'd be appropriate outside a bar during rush hour. It's easy to hear the excitement from the band, and easy to see why; making music is an adventure in itself. But to be this good, to have composition this tight and know it, is even better. "San Francisco" drips with a confidence that isn't heard anywhere else on the album, from the sleazy guitar riffs to the angry drumming. The rest of the EP is solid, but that's the problem: the music is far from boring, but doesn't approach any new territory, either. I wouldn't mind, except "San Francisco" betrays the innate musicality The Fixators possess. In the future, I want these guys to build on the foundation of their influences such as Bloc Party, The Bravery and Franz Ferdinand, The Fixators have the chops to exceed these guys. Wide Awake is proof of that.
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