Fixtures - 'Shades' EP

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Posted on 3rd July 2012

Fixtures – Shades EP

Bath's very own Fixtures are set to release Shades on July 9th (available on their bandcamp), a brand spanking new EP, following on from their recent free download, Common Courtesy. After a slew of electric live performances in the B&NES/Bristol area, the math-indie foursome are fast becoming the name on people's lips and a mainstay in the local scene. Flourishing where many have failed, the group have whittled their angular sound from the fallen branches brought with them to the unfamiliar Somerset surroundings. Though birthed out of their course at Bath Spa University, they have broken the bindings which pigeonhole similar bands into merely existing for the grades- Fixtures love what they do, the fans love what they do, and Shades is the culmination of all that dedication.

'//' rumbles into focus, an instrumental intro which quivers into melodic mayhem built from layered guitar ostinatos and monolithic chords. The sheer epicness that builds in the opener nods to Sheffield post-rock heroes 65daysofstatic, famed for creating seemingly endless walls of deeply emotional noise. Live favourite Sculpture Culture (which has been floating on their MySpace for months now) finally gets an EP release, surely to much glee. The almost-Foals jerkiness bounces off everything in sight, a red-blooded parry of stalwart kineticism and strobelight guitar ricochets through the speaker, delivering the most forceful effort on the EP with intelligent lyrics and peppy vocals. This is a mover and a shaker.

Six minute closer Samson swells into a Fang Island-y take on math-rock before slowing down and becoming something a whole lot more unique. Drenched in hooks galore, the melodies are unabashedly pure pop, carried on the vehicle of complex rhythms and semi-screamo backing vocals.

Shades is a stellar sophomore effort. An EP glistening with poppy residue and an elaborate combination of proto-indie and post-rock. There's enough to show the scope of what Fixtures can do, but not enough that we're laying back completely satisfied. It's as if the band have burst in, wreaked havoc and left us begging for more without even so much as their number scrawled on the mirror.

By Larry Day

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