Fallow Man

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Fallow Man EP

Review

Once again, I am in the happy position to write about a band who have hitherto yet to appear in "Hot Music Live". Fallow Man  comprise Greg Brice who plays lead guitar & provides backing vocals, lead vocalist & rhythm guitarist James Drinkwater, drummer Jon Bryan  and bass player Chris Simmonds. Many (most?) bands tend to form around musicians with shared interests & used to playing in a similar style: and that naturally works really well. A few others, and Shanghai Hostage spring to mind of current local artists (though they sound nothing like Fallow Man: which is a validation of the approach), collect around eclectic tastes & styles, with shared values but bringing a wonderful creative smorgasbord to the table. So it is with this band who come from a variety of backgrounds & produce a multi genre (or no genre) sound. Dubbed "indie rock" on promotional material (and it's amazing how many broad definitions exist in publicity, to the point where meaning is diluted in favour of a vague signpost, though I understand the necessity to try to describe a band playing at your venue as something potential audiences might feel comfortable with).

And so we arrive at their debut & eponymous EP, which consists of three tracks, namely "Tonight Matthew", "She Just Wants To Be Loved" and "Forest For The Trees" and which can be accessed at https://soundcloud.com/fallowmanband.

"Tonight Matthew" pretty much encapsulates their general approach: starting in a gentle blues-influenced way, it relaxes into a gentler rock style (though the drums & guitars are surprisingly spiky for such an approach) and like the other two tracks on the EP, settles into a groove rather than the rather ubiquitous post-Nirvana template of violently juxtaposed sections of varying volumes. Again like the other songs, it is clear that a major focus for the band is the lyrical content (they cite Billy Bragg among their influences) and the words are the heart of the track: thoughtful & well crafted. This song is now also a single in its own right & can be acquired via the usual platforms.

EP opener "She Just Wants To Be Loved" is a good dynamic choice for its slot: the catchiest and most pop orientated song on the record. I hope it gets radio play as it is very friendly to that medium & again deploys wit & memorability in ways which stir memories of many a treasured single from the poppier end of punk, post-punk and Britpop without being a pastiche of any particular band.

 

"Forest For The Trees', which closes this collection offers a third aspect of their talents (the EP as a whole is a neat showcase), being more at the angsty end of their spectrum, both lyrically & musically, being a pretty existential look at aspects of our journey through life with a generous use of the metaphors of nature.

With such variety at their disposal, devising setlists must be interesting & I look forwards to catching them live for a full set & sampling their full repertoire. You can catch them on March 27th (COVID 19 permitting) with the Duck Thieves at Coventry's Empire

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