When you hear Loom, the debut full-length release from Fear of Men, your first thought may be, “Oh, I’d always wondered what Dolores O’Riordan was up to nowadays.”
As it turns out, she’s still busy in her second stint fronting The Cranberries. But you’d be excused if you thought maybe she had started an indie-rock band on the side.
Actually, that’s Jessica Weiss who’s Lingering around like a Zombie. (I’m not proud of that last sentence.) Weiss’ vocals bear a striking resemblance to those of O’Riordan — minus the Irish lilt — and mixed with a little bit of Tracyanne Campbell from Camera Obscura.
The above track, “Luna”, perfectly encapsulates what this band is all about — shoegazey instrumentation backing dreamy vocals that belie a melancholic tone.
Based out of Brighton, England, Fear of Men are officially a trio, with Weiss, Daniel Falvey (guitar) and Michael Miles (drums). Bassist Becky Wilkie joins the fray for live sets.
The group first pinged the indie radar in February 2013 with the release of Early Fragments, the aptly titled compilation of singles and B-sides. Only two songs — “Seer” and “Green Sea” found their way onto Loom. Among the other six tracks, there are several — “Doldrums”, “Born” and “Spirit House” — that complement the recent release nicely. There are also a couple that never need to be played again — “Your Side” and “Ritual Confession”. Then there’s “Mosaic”, which would be solid if they’d taken out the annoying sample recording that pops up a couple of times.
Loom came out in the U.S. last week, and the band is currently touring with The Pains of Being Pure at Heart. They’re actually in Chicago tonight at The Empty Bottle, which has the makings of a great show.