Fawn Spots – From Safer Place (3 stars)

Slightly up-and-down debut from the York trio

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Fawn Spots – From Safer Place

Fire Records

York trio Fawn Spots are riding on a post-hardcore crest which seems to have resurfaced again, earning them a comparison by comedian Stewart Lee to proto-frat-indie stalwarts Guided by Voices and Minnesota's finest pre-emo's, Hüsker Dü – which seems somewhat generous. Their sound is probably more in tune with Dischord acolytes Rites of Spring and Embrace (no, not the shan English one) or even Leicester’s The Copperpot Journals.

A pitfall of this specific sub-genre is that you'll always end up being compared to, well, Rites of Spring and Hüsker friggin’ Dü – without sounding a great deal like either. Fortunately Fawn Spots hold it down on opener and sensible single ‘New Sense’ which has the urgency to defibrillate even the most disillusioned of greebos.

‘Natural Vision’ has a crucial 90s screamo jangle embedded in a guitar run and shout-stop harmonised choruses, not that dissimilar to the likes of Yaphet Kotto and countless acts on the legendary Ebullition and Level Plane labels. Post-Slint-rock rears its awkward and pointy head in with a slower instrumental groove ‘In Front of the Chestnut Tree’ – a nice but somewhat mismatched turn in an otherwise chorus-heavy release. Songwriter Jonathan Meager name drops the Situationists, TS Eliot and Sartre as influences, none of which seem that apparent on this collection of tunes. Catchy yes, but Nation of Ulysses this is not.

If anything, this is a slightly up-and-down debut from the York trio salvaged by its first act, but choice chunks of this should work exceptionally well in the flesh. With a little honing, Fawn Spots could be contenders in a crucial sub-genre revival which feels unjustly forgotten about by most scene kids since the late nineties and early noughties. Not wholly original, but a welcoming blast in the right direction.

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