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Fatherson - Sum of All Your Parts (Album Review)

Tuesday, 25 September 2018 Written by Liam Turner

Over the course of seven years and two LPs, Fatherson have quietly grafted and climbed their way to the top of Scotland’s burgeoning indie scene. And, on album number three, the Kilmarnock three-piece make their claim to an even bigger stage.

Fatherson have opened up the camp and brought it in the talents of producer Claudius Mittendorfer (Interpol, Arctic Monkeys), and his presence helps distinguish ‘Sum of All Your Parts’ from the band’s previous work. He imbues it with a heavy atmosphere that drips from track to track and polishes it off with a more professional sheen.

The slower tracks (there are quite a few) utilise this studio help the most. On The Rain, pattering pianos, chorus-drenched guitars, and strings create a moody, all-encompassing soundscape.

On Nothing to No One, brooding keys repeat above the reverb as Ross Leighton duets with the Welsh singer-songwriter Sarah Howells, who performs as Bryde.

Unfortunately, the faster tracks don’t possess the same stickiness. Making Waves is a pleasant enough crowdpleaser, one that evokes their countrymen in Biffy Clyro and Twin Atlantic, yet it lacks the depth shown in some of the records more measured moments.

Gratitude is similarly vapid, its noughties-style pop-punk riffs and uninspired melody doing nothing to enhance the overall package. Charm School is the exception. It’s a rollicking banger that rushes like a runaway train, its heavy guitars ringing loud as Leighton spouts venom: “The same three fucking clichés I’ll always have to hand.”

The deeper problem with ‘Sum of All Your Parts’, though, is that it sounds like it’s trying to leave an indelible mark by saying something profound yet, whether due to the band’s lack of time, experience or creativity, it constantly falls just shy of doing so. It’s akin to a plucky young politician making an important speech. They’ve put on a smart outfit, given thought to all the small details, but when they open their mouth all that comes out is the same trite remarks and no promise of any real change. You’re left thinking, “Is that it?”

Wolf Alice recently won the Mercury Prize for ‘Visions of a Life’. At times, ‘Sum of All Your Parts’ evokes that album. With a little more time and thought, they could match it.

Fatherson Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Tue October 02 2018 - BELFAST Voodoo
Wed October 03 2018 - DUBLIN Whelans
Thu October 04 2018 - LEEDS Hyde Park Book Club
Fri October 05 2018 - MANCHESTER Night People
Sat October 06 2018 - BIRMINGHAM Sunflower Lounge
Mon October 08 2018 - NOTTINGHAM Rock City
Tue October 09 2018 - LONDON Scala
Wed October 10 2018 - NORWICH Waterfront
Thu October 11 2018 - BRIGHTON Patterns
Sun October 28 2018 - NEWCASTLE Newcastle University Student Union
Fri November 02 2018 - GLASGOW Barrowland

Click here to compare & buy Fatherson Tickets at Stereoboard.com.

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