The FitzaFrenic Debut Album “Chew The Fuse” – Review
Review by Luke Etherton
The Fitzafrenic, what fun! “Chew the Fuse,” for release on the 26th of April consists of ten completely under-dramatic tunes, so distinctive that you’d be hard pushed forgetting the name. While sitting relatively comfortable in a rolling Ska sound, the Dublin four-piece make great revisions to the orthodoxy of their genre. Moreover, the lads know exactly when to use their pedals. This type of maturity in songwriting is followed throughout and is probably the most impressive aspect of the album; that their sound is so well-defined and utterly complete is thanks not only to hard work but to a gig-ethic that has kept them together for a number of years, working towards this debut. Sonically ballistic ‘Joe Aggro’ opens with a keyboard-led roll and breaks out into a Black Keys-esque driving riff that searches for a hook which unfortunately may not be there. This type of minor laxity is by no means thematic of the album, as tunes like ‘Sneaky’ (which was leaked as a teaser online) makes seriously inventive plays on a Pink Panther Rockabilly sound and accomplishes pandemic head-bopping. The sexy horn melodies of ‘Full Moon Party,’ provided by vocalist Conor McGrath, regulates the entire track and keeps it well below its procurable bulk for excellent reason. Its soulful presence could only be achieved this way, and his robust and forceful vocals are in accordance with this. ‘One Can Van Damme’ – The thought ‘where have I heard this before?’ is down to its quality. It’s a beauty of a track, definitely the most remarkable. Throwing that talking level in after the all-together-now chorus could be the most creative move on the album and deserves a Blue Peter Badge.
I’d venture to say that the album is well produced (yet slightly empty sounding in places), and it’s a great validation of the flourishing Dublin group’s abilities and purpose. The songwriting is energetic, and the lyrics (take “Save me from myself / well, I’m a tick-tick-tickin’ bomb. / Don’t chew my fuse, bitch. / ’cause I might blow up while you’re singin’ that song” from ‘Tease’) are polished and sturdy. Consisting of Conor McGrath (Lead Vocals and Sax), Cian Lernihan (Lead Guitar), Mark O’Connor (Bass Guitar), Trav Keogh (Drums), and the entire ensemble providing vocals, The Fitzafrenic will be playing at The Grand Social on April 26th, and regularly, eyes open for them! With a studio production like this, the gigs should be mighty – definitely more than just ‘what fun!’