Always a nice feeling to run across a band that makes an immediate feeling, The Fame made me immediately want to hear more. Their Facebook likes currently hover around 1,500 people, but that number should increase if people get exposed to this debut EP. There is a strong 90’s rock influence running through this which made me realize that 1995 was freaking 25 years ago. I am not sure if I feel really old now or that I went through some sort of time warp. The Fame also channel older artists and lace these songs with plenty of melody and hooks. Hailing from Toronto, the band members met by chance and have been building a following by working both sides of the Canadian and United States border.
Opening track ‘Wide Awake’ is one of those rare songs where the first thing that stood out to me was the drum pattern (Rodrigo), and I was immediately pulled into a song that recalls the likes of Tonic. This song is laced with harmonies that recall the world before smart phones and would have likely been a hit at the time. What makes this song and EP even better is that it is just proof that a good song is a good song regardless of the year as this song would likely appeal to modern rock fans too. The title track follows with a slightly subdued approach that had me scribbling down the Strokes as a reference point with this one having more of an indie rock feel than the opener. I like that it adds muscle to its frame as it goes, and that chorus just constantly saws deeper into your head with each play. That run on the guitar (Yu) at the end before it concludes is rather awesome to my ears too.
Part of what I really like about these guys is Brandon’s voice (also guitar) which has similarities to other artists but doesn’t sound like anyone in particular. He uses it in a variety of ways with it sometimes feeling a little sloppy such as in the verses of ‘Cherry Lipstick’ and then he hits some gorgeous melodies in the same song. This one packs a 90’s style chorus with some catchy guitar, including a very effective solo. I like how they transition into a quieter bridge too as it creates even more dynamics in this earworm. ‘Vacant Curiosity’ ups the tempo, and I have no doubt that it is even better live as I could see the tempo being even faster there. The rhythm section of Rodrigo and Andrew (bass) do great work here.
Wrapping up the EP is probably my favorite song which recalls the likes of the Beatles and if you want to move forward from them I also hear the likes of Oasis. This could have easily been a way over the top chorus to make it super polished for radio. Instead, that gorgeous chorus sets in the music perfectly and really creates a magical moment. It provides some real character to a song that could open up some doors for them to a much larger set of ears.
This EP will stay in heavy rotation throughout this year with me likely using these songs across a variety of playlists I create. It’s even super affordable so check it out and give these guys some of your time.
‘Maybe, Tomorrow’ is out now.
Author: Gerald Stansbury