Thursday, 10 April 2014

FATHOM LANE - ALBUM REVIEW

Fathom Lane - Fathom Lane 
Fathom Lane - Fathom Lane

There has been a recent spate of bands coming out with albums that are named after the band who has recorded the album. Now, I understand that you're proud of your band but at least make the effort to create something as a title or even just name it after one of the album tracks. It's like naming your child but not giving them an awesome middle name, a missed opportunity. Nevertheless, Minneapolis combo Fathom Lane have an album out and, regardless of name, it is my sworn duty to listen to it and then tell you what I think - it's the bloggers oath. The album opens up with 'Lazy', an organ infused piece of 70s lounge rock that could be the incidental music for the non-threatening scene in an American cop show....but it's not. 'Sugardown' follows and is a mellower affair with sweeping country guitars and a steady backbeat before 'Dream Her Name' comes in with sinister keys and a shuffling rhythm that suggests all is not well in downtown Minneapolis.

It's no surprise that a band who list their influences as Gram Parsons, Velvet Underground and Nick Drake create dark, country tinged music with sumptuous layers of organs running throughout. It's no surprise but it sure is a treat. Indeed, Fathom Lane's version of the classic 'Perfect Day' is both authentic and refreshing as Michael Ferrier and Ashleigh Still share the vocal duties atop some woozy guitars that give you that feeling you get when you've been lying in the sun too long and you can't focus on anything but the inside of your eyelids anymore. And then they hit you with 'Ache Me', a manic piece of Doors-esque madness, and the marvellously titled 'Waltzing Blue Jesus' which is a sunshine fuelled piece of country rock that reminds me how much I love the Treetop Flyers. Those gorgeous organ tones are back on 'The Nightshade' as Ferrier caresses notes out of his Rhodes that sound like a good whisky would taste.

These guys are, in the best country traditions, a bit of a collective and this comes to the fore on 'Grey Dress' as some excellent lap steel takes centre stage to give the song a dream-like quality that no other instrument can achieve. The sinister mood comes back on 'Jack Knife' as soft vocals and a stabbing bass line creep in to your subconscious before fully unleashing in the chorus. The album comes to a climax with the beautiful 'Golden Delicious', a song that swells with emotion but would sound just as powerful if played on an old acoustic guitar on a porch during the early evening of a summer's day. Fathom Lane have created a pure and honest album which is equal parts reflective and optimistic, so if you like your music with a little bit of country and soul then you should check these guys out for sure. Despite their lack of album title imagination...

More information: https://www.facebook.com/FathomLane

Live Dates:

19th April - First Avenue, Minneapolis w/The Ericksons + And The Professors + Farewell Milwaukee
26th April - Mid West Music Fest, Winona

9th May - House Show, Northfield

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