There are times when a new album from a band you’ve never heard of is a wonderful surprise; there are times when it is a disappointment, and the wonderful surprises come often enough to make up for the disappointments. Then there are the albums that seem to fall somewhere between. Meet Adventures of Fi in Space, a new album by Brooklyn based rock trio, EndAnd. Garage rock, grunge, punk, the band has been called many things by fans trying to define the trio’s sound, perhaps too many things. You listen to the album and it is easy to come away thinking this is a band that hasn’t quite found a voice of its own.
This is a “they sound like” band. Someone says they sound like the Pixies, someone else, Nirvana. Weezer, Garbage, Psychedelic Furs—you name it, someone thinks they sound like that; they have a hint of, they have a touch of some other band. Sure one way to give a reader an idea of how a band sounds is to compare them to a band the reader more likely has heard, but a band that is going to make it out of the local bar scene and onto the national scene has to have a voice of its own, and when it comes to EndAnd, what they are doing on this album does too often sound a bit derivative.
Not always though, and when they do their own thing they rock.
The new album combines two EP’s a studio produced compilation, Adventures of Hi- Fi in Space and a collection of what the band calls earlier DIY recordings Adventures of Lo-Fi Space. Between the two there is an “Interlude” for a total of nine songs on the new disc. All the tunes are written by EndAnd vocalist Daniel Fern who also plays guitar. Bassist Bill Fitzgerald, who also chips in on vocals, and Mike ‘Mikopolis’ Morales on drums round out the band.
In general the “Lo-Fi” tracks have that raw spontaneity that makes for effective garage rock. There is some solid guitar work and a softer vocal or two on songs like “Legend” and “Sweet.” Softer, of course, does not mean saccharine. Fern’s vocals are never sticky sweet. ”When and There” which closes the album features a dynamic clash between the guitar work and the vocals. It is one hell of climax. These are very impressive performances for DIY recordings.
At times the “Hi-Fi” tracks seem to me a mite overproduced. “Far and Between,” which opens the album, has spots that sound kind of poppy to this ear. The dueling vocals in “Labor Force” seem a bit too artsy. The punky “So What Now” may sound like a mash up of other bands, but it works for me, and “Commando,” which is one of the album’s highlights, has some outstanding guitar work.
Adventures of Fi in Space is a debut album with promise. EndAnd is the kind of band that can go places. Check out their website and sample some of the music. All of the songs are available for download on a name your own price basis. It’s a deal too good to pass up.