Rocky Number Seven
The Fervor – Arise, great warrior
The skinny: Jam-packed alt-country. Or not.
The review proper: A sweet but stark trip of seven tracks that never shy from going into some deep jamming.
A small riff, played in a slightly distant guitar and a voice proclaiming “Arise, great warrior” with some true devotion. The sound is sparse, the mood is a stark as another pissing rain day in England.
Then the drizzle becomes a rain. The guitar switches into a quick fading echo and the pace moves, although the mood still feels like a funeral procession.
That’s how ‘Arise Great Warrior’ goes, the first song of The Fervor‘s new album, Arise Great Warrior, a seven song album that feels like a trip to a past long gone, but still feeling fresh, still have that new car smell.
There is a defined sound, not a formula, in The Fervor‘s weaponry. Although only seven songs, the pace is like a stroll through the heath-covered hill. ‘Lead me’ is one of the rockier bits, with a cracking line in the form of “no amount of re-living will change our past”. No matter how much you want to look back, you need to acknowledge the here and now. The instrumental outro for ‘Lead me’ is beautiful.
There’s two particular songs that caught my attention from the get-go. One is ‘Bent around a dying dream’, starting very dreamy with a sustained note and a jangly rhythm then changing into a very melodramatic jam that leads into introspection. Natalie Felker’s voice gets a real chance to shine here, changing her sweet voice into a lull for the chorus parts.
The other song that really gets me is ‘Birds on the bridge’, the 7 minute wild mammoth that finishes the trifecta in the middle of the album (with ‘Clearly as the sun’ being a great mantelpiece – great guitar solo). ‘Birds on the bridge’ even has a small bass solo ( a very soulful one) and the build-up is constant. The song starts with dread and it ends in the same note, maybe leaving you waiting for a final note being played (it never comes).
The last two songs, ‘Crazy for the feeling’ and ‘Let’s get loaded’ are slightly peppier, even happier. ‘Crazy for the feeling’ is that small call to arms, getting all mates rounded up and ‘Let’s get loaded’ would be the moment any intoxicating substance starts to do the rounds. Maybe these two are strange contrast to the earlier songs and their eerie atmosphere, but if you’ve managed to spook your listeners with 5 gloomy songs, why not leave them with a smile and a tapping foot? And again, the playful piano, the great guitar work, the riling rhythm section and Natalie Felker’s voice do a very good job here.
The strange atmosphere oozing in Arise, Great Warrior is down not only to the tracks being laid down in analog tape, but also the quite able band doing a great job of having a cohesive piece peppered with some very thoughtful, longing guitar solos. Not all is gloom and the jams are kept tidy, never self-congratulatory in nature. Great little album by The Fervor.
Arise, great warrior is out in Karate Body Records, Removador and Sonablast