Album Reviews

The Fallout Trust – In Case Of The Flood

(At Large) UK release date: 27 February 2006

And so next on the seemingly never-ending conveyer belt of British bands making music with guitars comes Bristol via London based sextet The Fallout Trust. But stay with me – while the above statement is on the face of it very true, this is a far cry from any sort of sub-Libertines fodder, 80’s synth pop or even Britpop that we see and hear every other week.

This bunch have delivered a debut album, that while not totally original nor completely perfect, contains some of the best music to be heard this side of the new year, and perhaps more importantly, suggests a hugely promising and exciting future.

A large amount of styles and influences are thrown into a blender to create 11 songs that are sometimes slow, sometimes fast, at times sad, often euphoric, and on occasions, totally enchanting. Utilising standard instrumentation as well as a piano and a violin, they seem to be most comfortable making an expansive, sky-scraping noise, garnished with simple and solid hooks.

Opener When We Are Gone displays plays very much to their strengths. The electronic beats that underline the track create a sparse, rather desolate feel that reminds very much of Kid A/Amnesiac era Radiohead, and singer Joe Winter’s delicate croon certainly conjures up images of Thom Yorke, as well as David Bowie and Win Butler.

With a repeated, life affirming message of “When we are gone, they’ll carry on”, it’s quite simply a magnificent song – building up in tension and collapsing into a blistering guitar solo at around two minutes, it creates a sound so big and overwhelming they could even be Hope Of The States rocking out.

Early single Before The Light Goes and Where There’s No Cold No Feel are built on similar foundations – predominant strings, woozy vocals and large, memorable choruses that never fail to lodge themselves inside your head. TVM, featuring little more than a piano and softly sung, utterly yearning lyrics (“Wanna get that feeling back…”), is so beautiful and attention grabbing it gives even the likes of Mr. Hegarty a run for his money.

They can also be upbeat and urgent when they want to be – as the likes of Them Or It and fizzing ace in the pack Cover Up The Man, amongst a couple of others, ably display. Here, any prog-rock sympathies they may harbour are chucked firmly to one side and the choruses are sung with so much conviction they remind of The Coral‘s James Skelley chanting valiantly into the microphone.

Certainly, it would be quite incredible if they kept up this unrelenting quality for the whole three quarters of an hour that they’re with us. So it isn’t a huge surprise, therefore, that the last three tracks, despite being totally pleasant, are pretty much superfluous and really quite forgettable – bereft of any verve, spark and ultimately any real hook, the band are, in footballing terms, merely playing for time.

Still, eight out of 11 amounts to a first class grade at most academic institutions, and thus this remains a fantastic debut that is well worth your pennies. If they can keep their sights a little more focused on the quality control button and perhaps tone it down a notch with number the influences (Hey, the best cocktails are more often than not the simpler ones), we will almost definitely have a world-class band on our hands before too long.

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