Everything Will Never Be OK
Let’s just come right out with it: Fiction Plane is Sting’s son’s band. Yes, the Sting of Police and neutered solo soft rock greatness. This is his young seed, coming to give the world his take on late-’70s/ early-’80s new wave post punk. While the sneers and jeers are probably likely to be thrown at this band atop cries of unwarranted record deals, the truth of the matter is that Everything Will Never Be O.K. is a really well put together record, complete with true emotion and awesome instrumentation.
For the most part, the songs on Everything • are a cross between early Police, early U2 and Radiohead. The instrumentation is the standard drums, guitar and bass, so don’t worry about any corny synthesizers or other tomfoolery. The album’s opening track, “Listen To My Babe,” has a Southern twang to it, an almost mocking arrogance; as if the young Joe Sumner is showing off his Southern rock chops to throw off an audience expecting the post-punk goods. Such persons will only have to wait until the next song, the album’s title track, to be pounded with a flurry of post-punk angularity and pleasant awkwardness. The guitars on this song shimmer and sparkle like it’s 1983 all over again, but it lacks the poor production quality of many early-80’s albums.
The rest of the album wanders from laid-back rockers to the fevered and chaotic final three songs, by far my favorite section of Everything…. “Sickness” sounds like The Bends-era Radiohead, with minor chord guitars and aggressive percussion. Sumner almost cries “Do I feel love?” above a looping bass and a guitar plucking notes of a minor chord. The chorus is a full on assault of the ears, with enormous guitars and desperate wails. “Silence” is the album’s fastest song, punctuated with almost metal guitars that play above a strange, clean guitar picking some weird notes. The drummer absolutely freaks out on this song, and Sumner sounds like early Police-era Sting; it’s rather eerie. “Wise” is a masterwork of bizarre antics and weirdness. The guitars are spooky, the bass is overdriven and loopy, that is until the distorted guitars come in and wreck the entire thing. Following a break of six minutes silence, a bonus track comes on and it’s rather good. It shows the band in “we’re indie rockers” mode, sounding like a cross between Braid, Radiohead and Jawbox. It’s a really awesome song, even though it does seem to lack focus.
Regardless of the hoopla, don’t let the naysayers keep you away from this one. I too was expecting it to be another Julian Lennon, but man was I pleasantly surprised at how good this is. Totally worth picking up, and yes, fans of The Police will love this!
MCA Records: http://www.mcarecords.com/