ALBUM REVIEW: Fame On Fire – Levels

Release Date: September 4th 2020
Label: Hopeless Records
Website: www.fameonfireband.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/fameonfire
Twitter: www.twitter.com/fameonfireband

Rating:

Fame On Fire have garnered a large amount of attention for dealing in covers, ranging between Adele, The Weeknd, and Nirvana.

Eventually, not content with solely reworking the output of others, they started fleshing out their own material to prove that they’re more than just a cover band that some people might reduce them to. This attention has culminated in their debut full-length album, ‘Levels’.

‘Cover Band (Intro)’ is a short track to set the scene. With a slightly misleading trap intro, complete with a mocking inclusion of a dismissive comments towards them, we get a metalcore breakdown intro to set the scene.

There are many, many bands doing what Fame On Fire do, meaning in turn that it’s very difficult to truly stand out; a brand of metalcore that also takes influence from pop and R&B. Issues, Slaves, fellow cover song lovers Our Last Night, and many others have already done this.

‘Her Eyes’ and ‘Not Dead Yet’ are very indicative of the album as a whole; songs that could be by the likes of Post Malone, but with enough low-end riffs to head bang to. It rarely moves away from their signature formula, but Fame On Fire are still a fairly a new band, so there may be room for them to grow from this.

Their biggest issue at the moment with this album, and the biggest issue with this brand of metalcore in general, is that you know how the album will go within a handful of songs. There’s also some poor lyrical choices on the whole, rarely moving past clichéd whinging about relationship problems (“Don’t think I never loved you / That shit just isn’t true”). Musically, it’s still solid for what it is in places, and at least it’s not Eskimo Callboy.

And there are enough peaks. There’s an unexpected highlight in ‘Crazy For Your Crazy’ and with it, despite some terrible lyrical couplets (“She’s a savage / What a bad bitch”), we have a song that is undeniably catchy, and features a strong groove and will stick in your head for some time.

‘It’s Okay’ is also catchy, featuring a chorus not too dissimilar to Fetty Wap‘s hit ‘Trap Queen’, and the musical canvas in the verse is at least interesting. ‘Now And Forever’ is another infectious song, showing that there’s certainly potential for growth later on.

‘So Sad’ and ‘S.O.S.’ do unfortunately feel more like Fame On Fire by numbers, but closing track ‘Scars Of Love’ is a welcome deviation – an acoustic ballad that closes things out nicely.

Fame On Fire still have plenty of work to do if they want to stand out from the increasingly crowded pack. The heavier sections could certainly be more impactful, and the EDM-influenced sections could be more enveloping, but at least they’re going to be judged on their own material now.

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