Music review and promotion in central Indiana and surrounding areas since 2013
There are great bands in this little town, many of which are well on their way to even further greatness. It's been awhile however, since I've encountered such a polished and succinct sound as I did with Lafayette rock band Fight Like Sin’s EP Singularity.
Let's jump right in...because it's been a long wait.
Fire Away - 3:54
What do you need from an opening track to affirm your musical expectations? Is it a hard intro with immediate hooks? How about an aggressive melodic combination of the raw and powerful? Fire Away let’s us know we’re at a rock show...front row. No dainty pandering, no ambiguous vocals. Every channel and every track is concise and deliberate.
This track meets rock music’s requirements for a jammable, singable tune with several hooks. Lyrically creative, it implements the emotional rise early on, teasing the listener with solid rock as an opener, promising four more just like it. I especially like the soft drop into the guitar solo.
“Let's start this riot in your name”
In The Dark - 4:07
This one showcases technical prowess at a slightly higher level, yet maintains it rock stylings. I love the softer, clean vocals in the intro. A short story unfolds lyrically, and halfway in there’s a chugging guitar line that leads us into chorus. It’s perfectly matched cadence throughout.
This one also has some of my favorite backing vocals. FLS shows mindfulness, adding repeat tags in each chorus with higher pitched vocals. That’s just good music. I raised my rock fist.
Feux riff stops us at 2:32, sustained, then crashes into effortless riff transitions, and another taste of guitar crunch stomp with double bass. You know where the lyrics are going, but you don’t expect the guitar again. I love surprises like that. That was a good move. Another good move...raised vocals at 3:25. It’s an uplifting tune. It maintains the earlier set expectation.
“Too familiar with the costs of your forgiveness”
“And I swore, I'd drag you up this hill if you'd let me”
Nightmare - 4:39
Let me be clear right off the bat. The is my favorite song off this EP. I understand why No Ghost got airplay first. It's a great choice. It's a great song. But for me...this is the one. It stuck with me day in and day out.
Nightmare is progressive at the onset. I like the extra riffs before the first verse. Again with the extra vocal backing tags.
But that’s not what sets this one apart for me. It’s the sailing drift into what is essentially four hooks.
Four!!! The best rock songs have more than one. Sometimes two. But three or more...?
Elegant transitions, almost three songs within one (love that), not to mention their successful lyrical construct. It’s anthemic. It’s an arena song. It’s a radio song. It’s a soundtrack. It’s FULL of builds to crescendo, then drops you into soft yet rocking lulls, then pulls you up again.
Even the lyric “deep despair” literally falls onto a despairing note dip, as if your heart has to feel a small loss before you’re rewarded with the next verse. FLS understands lyrical arching, just past and just before, downbeat notes. This creativity hinges on an understanding of rock music that’s present on the whole EP.
Nightmare is also where I get to make my ever fabled mathcore reference. There is a technical timing count from all three supporting instruments that is very progressive.
The 3-minute mark brings on the solo. Heavy drum work complements to soft stop at pre-chorus. Then it’s back into heavy pound and a sweet guitar solo. I feel the bass the most in this one.
You can almost hear the applause at the end of the song along with the last sustained guitar note. It’s a brilliant song. It’s the scaffolding smack in the middle of an excellent EP.
Then I look at the playlist and realize...WAIT! There’s two more songs!!!
My favorite lyric in this one is also my favorite hook:
“It's gonna hurt when I'm gone, I've always cared for you”
It gives me chills every time I hear it. I swear I almost get a little teary-eyed. This is their winner. I cannot be swayed on this matter.
Don’t even try...
Ever Hopeless - 3:58
Another nod here to progressive sound. I love slightly off-timed guitar matching against bass and drums. It’s in this song that FLS employ the same formula that’s worked thus far on the EP. This one has some great mixing as well.
There’s exceptional drum work in this track. However it’s the softer of the five for me. Yet it somehow continues to entrance just as well as its predecessors. It’s an easy song to get lost in. But if you get too far into the imagery, you’re stopped just before 3:05 with another reminder that the lyrics are lamenting hopelessness, and that you need to pay attention.
Favorite lyric here:
“I plead mercy's name as you drag me through the dirt to where I lay”
No Ghost - 3:19
As previously mentioned, it’s easy to see why this one was chosen for release for airplay. It’s not just a solid rock-style anthem, it’s a complete hit. Concise lyrics, two hooks, arena vocals, it has the radio sound.
The best part of this tune is the repeat hooks. It eases us softly into a double guitar solo around the 2-minute mark. I love it when guitarists eloquently surprise us with dips and stretches like that.
I was sad when it was over. It’s a short tune, yet still full of the solid elements that make Singularity the great EP that it is.
FLS has a clear understanding of how to create lyrics and music that are not only thought provoking and climactic, but they make you want to arch your back and belt out the hooks with your fist in the air. And these aren't mindless pop lyrics. Hell no. These are well written lyrics, with feeling. There’s no sacrificing content to harsh vocals...an approach that obviously works for Fight Like Sin.
The whole EP is impeccably mixed. Artist's nod here to Threshold Studios in Indy, and Brian Thorburn.
It draws on, and focuses on, each member's strengths. It has a fearless and strong presence with raw power. With mini riffs and thoughtful bridgework, it creates imagery. Imagery that is paramount to rock music.
And of course I have to say it. You know it’s coming...so listen up and don’t moan and groan too much.
Slow down Lafayette, and listen to some music.
Fight Like Sin - 2016
Rob Barr - Guitar
Cody Hughes - Guitar and Vocals
Drew Luigs - Bass and Vocals
Tim Stepp - Drums
Fight Like Sin
Singularity - 2016 (no label)
Rock/Hard Rock/Progressive Rock