Listening to We’ll Be The Moon, it’s hard to remember a time when members of Fixers were terrorising the Oxford scene with their old bands Gunbunny and the ultra heavy Sextodecimo. What a difference a few years makes. In place of titles like The Banshee Screams For Buffalo Meat, there’s the softer tones of Floating Up or Really Great World.
Fixers channel music that doesn’t so much acknowledge musical history, personal or otherwise as chew it up and spit it out in a glorious rainbow of songs that possess a pop-purity, reaching for the stars as they do so.
Since Fixers first appeared, they’ve been a constantly evolving wonder, something that’s been evident from their steady stream of singles and EPs over the last couple of years. We’ll Be The Moon marks a point on the band’s timeline when an album must have been deemed necessary, but Fixers are a notoriously forward looking bunch and no doubt they’ve already got one eye on the future.
They choose to open the album with a blast from the not too distant past however, and the glorious driving synth-pop of Majesties Ranch which appeared on their Imperial Goddess Of Mercy EP. It’s instantly obvious why Fixers have touched a nerve, Jack Goldstein’s vocals drip with irresistible pop-nous that burrows deep into the ears and heads straight for the pleasure centres. The sun kissed harmonies of The Beach Boys are alluded to as the song builds towards an anthemic break that seems designed specifically for summer time bellowing.
Crystals appears at the midpoint and revels in mischievous guitar lines and a kick drum that never fails to inspire movement. Whilst another former single, Iron Deer Dream, highlights the band’s ability to flip between introspective passages and explosions of positivity whilst keeping their song writing sharp.
Elsewhere, Alexandra slows the tempo somewhat and delves into ’80s synth pop balladry. There are hints of Tears For Fears and Vangelis, but thanks to a quite beautiful chorus Fixers avoid the twin pitfalls of parody and homage. The spacey World Of Beauty explores the outer reaches of Fixers’ psychedelic electo with singer Jack Goldstein howling “welcome to my space age” (their choice of synths suggesting that in Goldstein’s space age everything is covered in tinfoil; which is not necessarily a bad thing). Pink Light is quite possibly the most outright pop tune with a vocal that at times seems to be squeaking “wiggle wiggle motion” over an explosion of cheesy Euro-disco. Ordinarily this would be a horrific proposition, but somehow they make it work.
Wrapping up the album are two of the finest moments. Really Great World is a touching celebration that once again harks back to The Beach Boys circa Pet Sounds and taps into that childlike emotion of wonder that Flaming Lips infuse their songs with. There are no grand statements beyond the idea that it’s a really great world, but with the layers of vocals and tinkling keyboards nothing else really needs to be said. Final track Good Night strips away the layers and relies purely on vocals and a lightly strummed ukulele. While it’s easy to get lost in the sheer bombast of the layers found elsewhere on the album the purity of these the naked vocals is truly striking as they reach an emotional late-night-singalong climax.
The future seems bright for Fixers. They’ve created a finely honed album that hints at a multitude of influences but because they are ploughing their own furrow they’re in debt to none of them. Not only will Fixers be the moon this summer, it seems they will most likely be the sun too.