Debut EPs from young bands can often be fascinating listens for a variety reasons- Fighting Fiction’s A Lesser of Two Evils
the intrigue comes in the shape of a band with raw potential trying to hone their sound and song writing. The EP covers a huge variety of genres; with elements of punk, folk, indie, rock, reggae and ska all making their presence known. However, rather than coming across as natural a la The King Blues
or Sonic Boom Six
, the eclecticism gives the impression of songwriters looking for a groove in which they are comfortable. Don’t let that put you off though as the raw nature of the EP is part of the charm- an idea many [/L]Against Me![L] fans will be familiar with. The band are at their strongest when they lean more towards folk-punk and rock (although the reggae influences on the title track certainly add an extra dynamic), as seen in ‘Cameraphones & Choruses’ and ‘You Mean the World To Me’. If the band can successfully mould these influences with stronger song writing then they could find themselves up there with the aforementioned big fishes of the UK scene.
Lyrically the band is also still finding its feet, although there are several gems to be found across these four tracks. The title track covers the apathy caused by the essentially two-party political system in the UK (the EP came out before the last election, but the Lib Dems still don’t really count), effectively summing the issue up in the line ‘red and blue both look the same/choose what you disagree with less’. Another success is ‘Cameraphones & Choruses’, a song that will ring (pun unintentionally bad) true for many fans of live music with lines such as ‘could you really enjoy a song staring through a two inch screen/when you’re really in the room when the band begins to sing"’. On the flip side is ‘Sanctuary’ which deals with its theme of immigration and asylum in a much clumsier manner, coming across as the wrong side of preachy in comparison with bands such as Crazy Arm
As I’ve already touched upon, it’s the rough edges of this EP that provide its endearing qualities, although there are certainly issues that need to be resolved if the band want their voice to be heard.