As a child my musical tastes naturally took root in the tastes of my parents. I was privy to a sizable vinyl collection including several Beatles records, a little Pink Floyd, Yes, and a bit of Elton John that started my love for rock and roll. Now in my mid twenties I have found solace in nearly all types of musical fare, but one I enjoy most above others is well executed rock and Fletcher‘s debut EP is a prime example thereof. Comprised of brothers Oscar and Harvey Baker and Tom Fry, Fletcher’s three-piece format is nothing new and there music is easily identifiable in today’s contemporary indie rock groups, but it strikes a good chord.
Open Arms is a rather well rounded EP that comes in at 23 minutes. This is more than enough time for Fletcher to get you hooked on their melodic vibrancy. “The Road I Take” is an irresistible opener that starts softly and crescendos to an awesomely punchy chorus. There’s a rather suspenseful, almost eerie element to the song that jolts and satisfies upon first listen. The title track harkens back to more recent rock acts like The Strokes and Givers with a poppy, upbeat tempo and fairly strong vocal work. The drums on this one really do the trick!
“One By One” takes things down a notch, moving closer to ballad territory. I wasn’t too crazy about this tune, but there is a really sweet guitar solo that takes the song into some enthralling territory. “Cheesecake” is a similarly downplayed number that soothes and coos its way under your skin. Again I feel like they really did a great job recording the drums for this EP, which shows in the rich cymbal sound that pervades this track. “More Than You Can Chew” is one I never really warmed up to like the rest, but it returns to the upbeat mood with what sounds like a purposefully catchy chorus.
The closing track, “Look To The Clouds” benefits from a great shimmering layer of keys that guide it to the edge of space rock. This track shows a great deal of potential for Fletcher with its steadily evolving soundscape and strong harmonies. These qualities alone, if honed to a greater progressive purpose, could set the group apart from their contemporaries and lead to a rather fantastic full length. There’s a lot to enjoy from this first release, especially on the recording quality and mixing, but I hope they don’t fall into some radio-friendly trap and continue in the direction of songcraft that tells greater stories. Of this they are surely capable.
MP3: Fletcher “The Road I Take”