Like the thought of Hüsker Dü, Mission of Burma and the Rites of Spring making a supergroup lovechild? Look no further than the York-based Fawn Spots, who have just celebrated the birth of their cranking debut album, From Safer Place, on Fire Records.
The tough quartet of Jonathon Meager and Oliver Grabowski (both vocals/guitars), Martin Shaw (bass) and recent addition Paddy Carley (drums), have bundled their visceral tension and cathartic energy into making an album full of raw rock and ecstatic riffs. In just a single song, the fizzing foursome can swing between angular darkness to catchy chorus, pushing their precise playing to the brink of destruction.
But it never gets any closer to the apocalypse than a distinctly bittersweet take on a classic 90s indie rock sound, rounded out with moments of metallic intent and off-kilter time changes. It is a simultaneously daunting yet thrilling listen, and their live show adds an extra degree of sweaty intensity.
Rather aptly, From Safer Place was written and recorded in sheds located in an abandoned Georgian garden, just outside of York. The result is an album that works as a literal message from a ‘safer place’. Formed in 2011, the Fawn Spots were originally a two-piece, aiming to push how much noise two people could make. Today, the answer from the four thoughtful lads is A LOT.
We asked Jonathon and Oliver the tough questions and here’s what they had to say:
If I had to describe our music in 3 words, I’d use…
J: Not like Zappa
O: From Safer Place
My favourite film ever is…
J: I’m torn between Repo Man and North by Northwest
O: Blade Runner
The most famous person I’ve met is…
J: Bob Mould and Grant Hart from Hüsker Dü – two out of three isn’t bad.
O: Hulk Hogan – I was seven and he was filming Thunder in Paradise; it felt like meeting a giant.
The song I hate the most is…
J: The Killers’ cover of Shadowplay
O: I hate that Tom Odell version of Real Love
The worst job I’ve ever had is…
J: Instore cleaners at Safeways. I had to clean children’s sick up. One week I went round the entire store on my hands and needs scraping the scum form the side of the aisles.
O: Selling Sky TV door to door, I don’t know how some of those guys slept at night.
If I was in a tribute band it would be…
J: The Shaggs.
O: Oasish? That’s the only one I know.
My favourite word is…
If I had a super power I’d want it to be…
J: The ability to stop time.
O: Laser eyes
If I could play a gig anywhere it would be…
J: The 9:30 Club in Washington DC in 1985
O: The UK Indoor Bowls Championships in 2015
I think you should listen to…
J: Human Hair from London; Threads from London; Doctrines from Manchester
O: Your conscience or Polvo
If I could see anyone play live it would be…
J: Joy Division
O: The Beatles (but only if they figured out how to play Sgt Pepper’s)