FASTER - FASTER (NO LABEL) CD

Making good on the promise of an EP discussed in the last issue of this zine, here Faster present ten lullative, elegiacally-minded and plaintive guitar songs, the bulk of which exist beneath cloudy skies on a plane traversed by the meandering itinerary of post-rock. Though setting the ball rolling with the aforementioned EPs "Transmission no. 2" - an instrumental breeze of optimism on which guitars float like dandelion spores on a beautiful summer evening, before being caught-up in a more powerful gust and carried away from sight - it is actually "Fasten Your Seatbelt", also featured on that EP, which lays down the law for what follows on. Misty and phasing, 'under yellow sodium light', but countered by a serene kind of poise - and countered still more by the male singer's dauntless and zealous vocals, which call to mind Miki Berenyi of post-shoegazing Lush in their intonation and patterns of emphasis - this is a song which typifies the Faster knack of fusing the dimensions of the introspectively rapt with those of the emphatically urgent. While they're often to be found staring into an abyss of waste and mess and mistakes and regret, counselling coming to the senses and hastily beaten retreats, the tunes are benefiting greatly from a wise and cool self-restraint. When the band do dare to crash-out a little therefore - as they do on "Alone" and "Distance" - the letting-go is all the more powerful for it. And, though the watchwords of the album as a unit are certainly 'intentness' and 'intensity', therešs also a stirring pop sensibility at play; most particularly on the romantic "Culture's Lost" and on "Heatwave", which - with its chorus of 'wake up every day, / wishing the rain would wash the heat away' - might also be regarded as a (long-overdue!) ideal anthem for summertime curmudgeons. A highly engaging band.

This is in the latest issue of Butterfly Crush fanzine. Go, Faster Boys!