Release Date: Jun 3, 2016
Record label: PIAS
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock
Sometimes a short sharp shock is all that's required to get the adrenalin flowing. Which is just as well because post punk collective Fews have an abundance of them at their disposal. Hailing from all corners of the globe - Sweden, America and new bassist Jay Clifton from the UK - this Malmo based foursome have set pulses racing since second single 'The Zoo' arrived unsuspectingly in the latter part of 2015.
Fews wear their influences on their sleeves. The piercing, angular guitar lines suggest they’ve been listening to early Interpol. The stark textures and angsty vocals recall The Back Room-period Editors, who in turn had been listening to Joy Division and the Cure. However, while the Sweden-based band aren’t yet wildly original, they do bring something different to the party.
The mystery machine that is FEWS – three quarters Swedish, one quarter American – formed around 2012 after Fred (surnames not forthcoming) left San Francisco to move to Sweden, presumably in search of Daphne, Velma, Shaggy and Scooby, but instead finding David, Lulu and Rusty. Producer Dan Carey (TOY) heard a demo of the band’s track The Zoo and decided he wanted to make a whole album with them. After the band amassed something in the region of 30 tracks, they began whittling them down, eventually settling on the ten that make up debut collection Means.
Swedish/American four-piece Fews finally let loose over ten full tracks, after teasing music bloggers last year with tracks The Zoo and Ill. On debut record Means, both songs emerge present and correct from the gloom, making good on their promises to cause deep-seated, shattering damage: Industrial echoes ring out from behind tense, terse lyrics pronouncing that 'time is on my side,' as sprawls of icy feedback open up and raze the earth. Means is shadowed and dizzying, sour and fleeting.
Shadowy post-punk outfit Fews deliver a propulsive, minimalist debut with the help of U.K. producer Dan Carey (TOY, Kate Tempest, Bat for Lashes). Bearing only their given names and a strange reluctance to gig in their homeland of Sweden, the quartet is fronted by American transplant Fred, who guides his bandmates David, Lulu, and Rusty through ten spiny noise-pop jams that occasionally resemble New York contemporaries DIIV, and even bits of early era Cure, in their moody guitar styles.
Dan Carey - the head of the Speedy Wunderground label and an acclaimed producer who has worked with Kylie Minogue, Tame Impala and Franz Ferdinand - was so impressed with “The Zoo”, a demo from Swedish four-piece FEWS, that he wanted to make a whole album with the band. Means, released on Play It Again Sam, is the resulting record. It’s a promising debut - an easy listen consistently clean in sound and neatly polished by Carey - but it’s by no means the full package.