Punk music has been making a huge comeback over the past year or so, with DIY underground punk and garage rock’n’roll becoming a much more prominent sound, especially in small local venues up and down the country. Favourite acts of mine who embody this sound would have to include bands like False Heads, Estrons, Pulled Apart by Horses, Demob Happy, and gritty rock four piece Fiende Fatale. I caught the band live for the first time last month alongside Trampolene at The Horn, and was blown away by the ferocity and aggressive punk garage sound they channelled throughout their set; since that gig I’ve listened to their music a lot more, and was able to catch them live at Nambucca on Tuesday evening (29th). The band are a four piece from London, made up of Dom on drums, Alex on bass, Rolph on lead guitar, and fronted by vocalist and guitarist Matt. The rough grittiness and punk unorthodoxy about their music is what I love so much; there’s a real skill and talent in their music too which has the ability to captivate and excite their audiences. As a frontman, Matt is ridiculously entertaining; he has this intriguing style and messy confidence, and his vocals have a cocky London bite to them. As a band, Fiende Fatale have a really wild sound which ties in so many fantastic musical elements. First up, the drumming. Dom is an unreal drummer, who’s not just powerful and aggressive behind the kit, but also ridiculously skilled too; his riffs are full of intricate clever little patterns, which coincide so well with the guitar. Unlike typical drumming which keeps a steady beat throughout, a lot of Fiende Fatale’s music changes in pace and beat throughout the track, giving it a really unique sound where you don’t quite know where the track is going to take you. Watching them play last night, Dom really reminded be of Ben Thatcher from Royal Blood or Wonk Unit’s Tom , just listen to tracks like Royal Blood’s cover of Roxanne, or Wonk Unit favourite of mine Je M’appelle Alex.
The guitar as well is what makes the band’s sound so vivid and enthralling; Rolph and Matt play guitar perfectly in sync with one another, with each of their messy riffs complimenting the other. This is nicely accompanied by Alex on bass, who creates one of the most fundamentally compelling, core sounds the band has. The distinct heaviness of the bass runs through all their music, brilliantly tearing up that wild eccentricity created by Alex and Rolph. For me, this is really evident on Yours Untruly and new track Script, which the band debuted live for the first time the other night. They use the amps to their full advantage too, creating a heavy distorted sound which just adds to the heaviness and intensity of their punk atmosphere. And finally, the vocals. So front men in punk bands is always interesting; currently musicians like Alex from Wonk Unit, Isaac from Slaves, Luke from False Heads, and Frank Carter (of Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes) do it so well. There’s a certain energy- an attitude- needed to front a heavy rock band, and this is something Matt is able to do incredibly. On stage, he has this edgy arrogance, and his energy is infectious. On some tracks it’s tough punk vocals, and on others he sings so colloquially it’s like he’s speaking, with rapping in some parts of their tracks. He also pairs his guitar incredibly well with Rolph’s riffs and Alex’s bass, all tied together by that meticulous drumming from Dom. How they play together is the thing that makes the band stand out; each change in pace, unexpected guitar note, and messy yet meticulously refined riff is so well practiced, with the talent and hard working ethic of the band clear. This intricacy and DIY edge, and just pure punk aggression they have is something you need to experience live; they sound absolutely class on record (you can listen to them via SoundCloud), but it’s that intensity and savage energy they have on stage which makes them such a stand out band. Re-energising the meaning of DIY punk and giving garage rock a whole new meaning, Fiende Fatale embody the rawness and grit of punk music perfectly, 100% a group to keep your eye on.
Upcoming gigs: Alley Cat, London (December 10th) & The Horn, St Albans (January 28th 2017)
See below for the band’s full setlist:
- Car Crash in F# Minor
- Yours Untruly
- 2020 Vision
- The Apartment
- Chelsea Girl
- Good Intentions