Oxford-based band, Fixers, have just released their album, ‘We’ll Be the Moon’. Elliot Robinson gives us his opinion of their début effort.
Fixers are a five-piece band hailing from Oxford, whose sound is described as experimental, psychedelic pop, though don’t let that put you off. Playing through their début album, We’ll Be the Moon, and you can see why they fall under the psychedelic pop genre, though experimental is the term that will make most people unnecessarily wary of trying them out, which would be a shame.
The album opens very strongly with tracks that are instantly likeable (‘Majesties Ranch’, ‘Floating Up’ and début single ‘Iron Deer Dream’), with toe-tapping rhythms, twinkling electronica and catchy choruses. These are the sorts of tracks that you could hear being promoted by Radio 1 and used on many and varied TV promos.
The sound that one initially gets hints of when listening to them is that of Spanish-French musical act, M83, which is perhaps only enhanced by the vocal stylings of lead, Jack Goldstein, which have a similarly ethereal quality, especially with the applied echo effects. Every track is a well-polished affair with the album managing to get a good three-quarters of the way through before hitting a stumbling block.
What breaks the flow, and is arguably a song type the band should probably avoid doing many of in future, is when the couple of slower tracks hit towards the end of the album’s runtime. First is track 9, ‘Amsterdam’, which has hints of early Goldfrapp mixed with Vangelis’ work on the Blade Runner movie soundtrack, though never really comes close to matching either. Track 10, ‘Really Great World’ is an OK track, though at almost six and a half minutes long overstays its welcome by a good couple of minutes, made worse by Goldstein’s repeated and affected pronunciation of ‘world’.
Perhaps the weakest point of the album though, is the bizarrely folkish ‘Good Night’, which, apart from the musical change in gear, has some rather squawky vocals. Again, it goes on far too long at closing in on six minutes. The track isn’t entirely awful; there are some pleasant harmonies in parts of the song, though more than anything else it just doesn’t sit well with the rest of the album.
Closing the album is their second single from last October, the peculiarly titled but rather excellent, ‘Swimmhaus Johannesburg’. With its retro, electro-pop-rock vibe, the song rescues the album from ending on a bum-note, and helps the listener to forget about the previous couple of musical missteps.
Go Get It: ‘Floating Up’; ‘Swimmhaus Johannesburg’
Forget It: ‘Good Night’