EP REVIEW: Fenrir, Live Like Royalty

fenrirepTITLE: Live Like Royalty
BAND: Fenrir
LABEL: Unsigned
RELEASED: May 13th 2013

Having recently released their debut EP, Suffolk alternative outfit Fenrir look set to be the next big thing in British rock. A young band with plenty of fresh ideas coursing through their sound, they have already toured with their friends Searching Alaska and have a July mini tour planned. The EP has already received some rave reviews from other music sites and blogs, which sets it in good stead to receive more. Punktastic compared it to recent music from Deaf Havana and Young Guns, saying:

“Live Like Royalty demonstrates fairly well Fenrir’s forceful personality and burgeoning sense of self.
By the end of Live Like Royalty you’re grasping for more.”

That’s certainly something I would also agree with! It begins with instrumental track Victory Rose, which has a slow whining guitar and low bassy vocal monotones. The guitars take on a metallic face and dramatic drums join them in the constant ringing riff which fades into the very first second or two of Haven’t You Heard? This track, however, immediately morphs into a scraping riff and a smooth rock vocals appear on top. I detect a Framing Hanley influence too, which comes from the American twang their music definitely has. The instrumental gives it a bit more weight before breaking down into a rippling riff dancing over an occasional drum bang. It is a great live track and the perfect way to kick off a debut EP.

fenrirFlash Fires takes on a more retro pop-punk vibe and the melodic vocals sway against the rhythm. It is slightly more poppy than the other tracks but has possibly the catchiest rhythm. The backing is intriguing with a stop-start thing going on, which makes it feel a little distorted. Again, there’s a breakdown in the music and the soft vocals are exposed before the first glimpse of angst on the EP arrives. Screams pierce through the music, which transforms into a chant of “let go, let go” behind the lead vocal.

Perhaps the most powerful track is The Puppeteer. Metallic riffs and strong drums back up this deep and meaningful track with a story instilled. The merging of the angst-filled screams and melodic vocals is expertly done with both dark and light emotions on show. Frantic strumming and crashing drums mirror the anger and the calm acoustic section represents the acceptance and come-down. It ends with a final flurry of energy that carries it through the telling final chant of “I’m not a puppet anymore”. It’s very atmospheric with a real air of defiance and an urge to not be controlled.

My favourite track on the EP is Click. A resonating rippling riff begins it with a rising drum beat joining a scraping guitar. Melancholy chilled vocals arrive and there is a strong focus on the impressive instrumentals. The American twang is apparent again on the vocals and the chorus has a Wizard of Oz reference in the echoing line “click my heels together”. This line epitomises the whole song, which is about wishing and longing for something that you can’t have. Again, the screams change the mood of it but they’re clashed with an atmospheric instrumental. You’re left with a sad but hopeful feeling, which lasts into the next song.

Ending on single Confessions with a simple acoustic opening coupled with gravelly vocals. The guitars start to ring and scrape with the vocals gaining more and more passion as it progresses. It’s a classic alternative rock track that has an awesome live vibe. The ending is perhaps the most impressive part with glitchy guitars that perform tricks and provide more than a few “wow” moments. Rhythmic drums finish it off and you’re left with a thoroughly well-rounded alternative EP.

Previous reviews are no exaggeration. This really is a solid effort from Fenrir and the fact that they haven’t been around for two years yet only makes it more exciting. To see them progress and grow into their own sound is something that I’m very much looking forward to. With a lot of alternative and prog-rock leanings with a sprinkling of pop and punk, there are so many ways they could go too. Exciting stuff!


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