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There’s a little delusion when it comes to punk’s more contemporary and tamed musical alterations. UK trio Fair Ohs (which we previewed last month) interplay a few select variations on it in their newest album “Everything Is Dancing,” from surf, to tropicalia, to disjointed fuzz-pop, evening out a fine level that doesn’t surprisingly stray too far off its opening course.
The album’s opener “Baldessari” sets the pace with poppy echoing guitars between Eddy Frankel and Matt Flag’s vocals, proving to be one of the album’s more endearing tracks. There is an inherit lightness to Fair Ohs, bordering far more on the tropical surf-vibe than jumbly lo-fi, with constant allusions to beach paradises, boats, and coastlines throughout the ten tracks. And to certain degree, there’s a lot of charm in the wistful nature of it all, but it also sacrifices how far along the album’s sound can go.
Beyond the beachy scenery, “Everything Is Dancing” is a method of soft experimentation, hardly extraordinary in terms of separating itself from the normal variety of modern indie pop. The songs drift into somewhat daring territory, like the latter half of “Almost Island” in which the band slowly dials down on the crashing instruments into a swerving finish, leading into the East Asian opening of the album’s title track. But for the most part, outside of “Baldessari” and “Katasraj,” the moments where the album jumps out to the listener are disappointingly few.
This isn’t a “love it or hate it” record or anything. In the broad spectrum, it’s a fairly decent album perfectly suitable to any Vampire Weekend or Surfer Blood fan. But far too often “Everything Is Dancing” drifts from heart-warming and effortless, to too comfortable. There’s a potential here, as there is with most young groups, so Fair Ohs should be something worth watching out for in the near future. But for now, savor the album’s bright spots. Check it out below.