Fanclub: All The Same EP and Instagram Takeover!

By Jay Armstrong

 

FanclubI meant every word I said back in August gushing over Fanclub. What I did not know then, even in the light of such positive feelings, is how much getting their latest six songs would hit when playing it. This All The Same EP is a great step for the band. For the strength of their first two singles hearing their songs blend forming who they are and what shape they are proving to be is powerful beyond expectations.

Stranger” comes in like a John Hughes film; all four/four time and catch-me-if-you-can wanton synths, guitar lingering in the back as though you forgot your roommate was even home until they started playing along, where typically bass is an overlooked undertone directing us to come together through symmetrical mathematics, not this time, not with Fanclub; this is the glory days of new wave at its finest–safe yet deeply personal–the lyrics carry a levity while working at odds counter-intuitive as the bass continues being sipped up by our minds like a kid starry-eyed two hand holding a Capri Sun. It isn’t until the “we’re all, we’re all, we’re all the same” ending where the tug of war between opposing forces becomes a monumental aligning as it hooks us to the band–those last thirty seconds are where each member and us the listener find ourselves in the passenger seat of our psyche facing a night of warmth and loss and letting go. The two minutes it takes to get there are all peaceful anticipation of something we had not even realized until washing over us in perfection. As the song closes out we accept each other, we are in this together. The band obviously felt this as well when laying out the album, they do after all open the EP with the song rather than ending on it which for the listener would have shaped the vibe drastically different. Drawing the title of the album from this section tells us quite clearly how aware they are of the experience. Proving once more there is a confidence in Fanclub far removed from the often needy and desperate “please believe in me” that comes off with anything nearing on a similar bedroom fashion; they are better than that, superior to it, even if their humble facade attempts to fool us otherwise; the music speaks boldly for itself and it is refreshing to say the least.

As “Leaves” starts up it floors me as though I’m hearing it for the first time instead of the twentieth, our time apart has been healthy, beautiful, necessary. Praise for pop comes with great hesitation on my part. I believe I have not felt this band out proper by letting the gate of my lame biased judgement down and assuming it to be enough for what this track deserves. To be heavy in solemn inflection, the heart breaking grasp on left and leaving, and the hope of someone being there when we have fallen, alone, transient. Is the world moving on or are we? “Leaves” is a song embodying the spirit of being nineteen yet instead of coming off nostalgic it strikes personal in a forced reminder of watching that Death Cab For Cutie video for “A Movie Script Ending and how it made me feel– I feel it now; the alone broke confusion of a world never making sense and the lack of gravity in life which pushes all of the pieces around us constantly–”Leaves” draws it out for a moment, a reminder of the release and burning blind nihilistic optimism found finally in rowdy Rock N Roll. Thankful for finding an escape, I look not back on those days with hot or cold eyes, I’m merely witness to the old me; the person thought gone to be found once more there inside, buried, yet alive still. To be stirred in such a way catches me off guard. Bukowski taps me on the shoulder and whispers the faintest “bluebird” in my ear.

If you missed my point on how the emotion is carried by the bass just wait for “Swear” to start up, it is flooring compared to the first two. All The Same starts off with a maternal vantage point, as though the band is calling for “the sick, the poor, the tired,” a lighthouse guiding us ever so slowly to safety, “Swear” tears that veil in half and calls us into the personal. What is it with Leslie Crunkilton manipulating our emotions? A smile during a set spins the room off in laughter, if she were to cry on stage I believe we would die from heartbreak on the spot. This song is the closest I hope we ever get. Stevie Nicks is surfacing in a huge spiritual sense out of Crunkilton, we need answers on why!

Fanclub2Reflection” is the second single they gave us last year. It is much more stripped back song than anywhere else on the album, leaning heavy on the instrumentation which could go on for another seven minutes and we would be supportive to hang around for it.The lead works big at keeping the song from falling flat in heaviness, an Achilles heal Fanclub manages to narrowly step around on this closest gamble. The song works. Still surprised it was a single though. There is a whole lot to digest on our side of the experience getting from personal to the all, something music more than any other art form demands. They pull it off but it comes at the cost of feeling a bit dull in comparison to what one would expect as a single from the band. On the album though “Reflection” is a sweet transition into “Dreamers” taking us home in some pepped step walk down warm empty city streets passing shells of houses much easier seen as props to the stage of this moment in our lives than as anyone remotely existing in a separate reality. Closing out the All The Same with this one is perfect. The album moves along with tiny little pieces balancing themselves up on each other, “Dreamers” is a complete moment, a finished thought, nothing steps out or tugs our heart in separate directions, A24 should be calling any moment to get this in one of their trailers.

Fanclub plays tonight at Barracuda with a bunch of chances to catch them between Austin and California through April. They will be taking over our Instagram all day today, so if you feel like rubbing shoulders with them in a bit more personal way here is your perfect chance.  We love Fanclub, hope you all are on the same level with them as well.

Fanclub – Bandcamp | Instagram | Facebook | Youtube | Spotify

Upcoming shows:

Feb 1 – Austin,TX – Barracuda
March 8 – Austin,TX – SXSW
March 24 – San Antonio,TX – Brick at Blue Star Arts Complex
April 15 – San Antonio,TX – Brick at Blue Star Arts Complex
April 17 – El Paso,TX – Monarch
April 18 – Tucson,AZ – Sky Bar
April 21 – San Diego, CA – Space Bar
April 23 – Albuquerque,NM – Moonlight Lounge

 

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