Album Reviews

Fony – Circles

UK release date: 20 October 2003

Another week, another release slides off the Coproproduction line. Having been privy to the previous two, and now this, Fony’ssophomore effort, we have a winner. Yes, Fony take the biscuit – by amile.

The young quintet have delivered one of the mostoriginal albums by a nu rock band in years. With this in mind, the prolificfive (who only formed three years ago) were probably doing some forwardthinking about their sound, so when it came to choosing a name, Fony is apretty accurate irony to blemish onto an unexpecting world.

Nu metal might be sagging more quickly than ArnoldSchwarzenegger’s muscles, but Fony – who are anything but – are confidentlystriding into a musical soundscape which has very little to do with eithercod teenage angst or neanderthal thuggery.

Raised on a mixed diet ofprevalent early ’90s grunge, hardcore, and alt rock (Jane’sAddiction and Tool are among the influences listed), Fonyare a rare element of the generation who have compiled these disparategenres into their own sound.

This is none more so than on Emeritus, a grunge-coreanthem commanded by Olly Gibbons’ stunning vocal scope. One second MattBellamy (Muse), the next, throat-scalding hardcore. But it’s theethereal metamorphosis in the song, and indeed across the album, which Fonydeserve acclaim for.

The emo-core on Satire For The World (with Gibbonseerily hollering as Matt Bellamy v2.0) is the ultimate oxymoron for what’sto come – the brittle, riff-driven intensity of Strobe and the innovative BlackWidows And A film Noir. This is a non-conformist emulsifying of rigid hardcore,with the elegant sedated moments of Jeff Buckley and Jane’sAddiction.

There’s also a surprise early on with track four, Helium – alayered, post-grunge acoustic ballad that ex-Alice InChains man Jerry Cantrell would cheerily acknowledge.

That said, Circles is not a flawless, groundbreakingmasterpiece (which is still well overdue in terms of nu rock). Indeed, thetitle track’s languid instrumental refrain (just shy of six minutes) isuncomfortably lodged between a couple of hardcore opuses, the latter of which (IMar The Chance) is susceptible to some hardcore overindulgence.

The boys manage to recompose themselves for the homestraight, with January Zen (a reference to Jane’s Addiction’s vintage PigsIn Zen?) a mystic hardcore romp and surely a candidate for the next single.

While Fony may at times appear to be pouring over asound they can lay claim to, their teetering between one sound to the nextmakes them an exciting prospect and bodes well for album number three.

This is recommended for nu rock and hardcore fans looking fora breath of fresh air. My money’s on album number three doing for Fony whatWhite Pony did for the Deftones.

Well, maybe…

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Fony – Circles