By Davis Blount
Local rockers My Fair Fiend have been on the scene now for just over two years. With their second full-length offering, the band is looking to really carve out their own sonic niche with the album Making Monsters. While My Fair Fiend’s more pronounced and unique sound may not hit with every listener, there is no mistaking the fact that the band is more comfortable than ever.
The album opener, “Blackest Dream,” gets things started off on a strange, somewhat melancholy note. Vaguely reminiscent of The Killer’s more experimental moments, moaning choirs give way to slow instrumental breakdowns. Crofts’s vocals float gently in and out throughout the song, which gently gives way to “Trapped Like a Ghost,” a tune that helps kick the album into gear. A slightly catchier song, the band gets an opportunity to strut a little more of their stuff. The album really gets going, however, with the song “Tourniquet.” Lyrically and instrumentally, this song is one of the album’s high points. Over a rhythmic bass groove, Crofts proclaims: “I can tell my body what to do, what to do, baby I can tell my body what to do. With a switch of a button on my brain like a miracle I can turn the agony… to nothing.”
Other standout tracks include “Empty Shell;” the namesake track of the album “Making Monsters;”and “Symbiotic Stare.” One of My Fair Fiend’s peculiar strengths is the band’s overall connectedness. At no point during the album does the band drown out Croft’s lyrics by the impressive instrumental backing. The band mentioned in an interview that the recording of this album was all done live with the exception of Crofts’s guitar. The unity needed to pull off a feat like that really shine through in the enjoyment of My Fair Fiend’s newest album.
One track worth mentioning is the album’s closer, “Very Long Shadow.” Here, Callie Crofts bears all in a solo track accompanied only by her own guitar. In this more quiet and introspective track, listeners are invited in for a look around Crofts’s psyche. For the previous ten tracks, there is a tinge of anguish and even remorse in the songs. With the closing track, it seems there is a sense of release and acceptance on the singer’s part. Could this be the closing of one of life’s chapter, or is this the kind of comfort that simply comes with time and experience? Listeners are left to ponder those things on their own at the close of the song.
All in all, My Fair Fiend is really coming into their own in many ways. There is a tighter, more unified edge in the music that gives their music a nice polish and more organic sound. While the band delves deeper into more uncomfortable topics, it would appear that they are only growing more comfortable as a band. Sure, My Fair Fiend might not be making bubblegum pop designed for mass distribution, but they seem perfectly content to dwell in the shadows of human experience and carve out a home there.
Analog Provo’s Grade: B+/A-