Sam Fender
Hypersonic Missiles



by Antonius USER (39 Reviews)
October 16th, 2022 | 2 replies

Release Date: 2019 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A striking talent on his journey to greatness

Mainstream rocker Sam Fender has earned the reputation of rock’s next great hope. Granted, there are not many 23-year-olds out there who can see the world through the eyes of an elder with a lifetime of experiences. Even fewer of them may be able to write about it in the way that the young Geordie can.

Sam's songwriting is overwhelmingly confident and despite the fact that his music influences and heroes are plainly obvious, he writes and sings in a mixture of observation and anger at the modern-day world. His lyrics tend to focus on the sort of solemn topics that a lot of songwriters have tried to touch: mental health, toxic masculinity and sexism are among a few. The difference is that Fender’s lyrics are sharp as razorblades and sound rooted in bitter experience rather than an imaginary school essay.

Admittedly, Sam has probably not seen in person the bombing of kids in Gaza as he describes so sourly in the album's opening title track. However, it may not be an exaggeration to assume that some of "the dead boys in his hometown" as he cries out so agonizingly in 'Dead Boys', might have been close friends of his. The album's third single 'The Borders' initially sounds like a rigid War on Drugs song. However, its bleak content about the difficulties of dysfunctional family life is more grounded, painful and realistic than Adam Granduciel’s soul-searching lyrics. By this point, the antithesis between the vibrant and euphoric music and the melancholic lyrics has taken its shape.

Despite often using a drum machine in the record ('The Borders', 'Dead Boys', 'You’re Not the Only One'), the overall sound of Hypersonic Missiles is based on the US heartlands rock and similar to his hero, the Geordie Springsteen writes about the grinding pressure of small town frustration ('That Sound', 'Saturday' and 'Leave Fast'). “White Privilege” pairs dense harmonies with an onslaught of societal grievances: Brexit, social media, liberal arrogance and political correctness. There are no easy answers but Fender is asking the right questions.

Hypersonic Missiles is the British version of heartland rock as influenced by the genre's greatest representatives: Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty. It may not be the perfect debut, but an album that exhibits ambition, desire, lyrical depth and maturity. The record has not yet sold a million copies but has sold enough to materialize Fender's childhood dream: to play his music at Saint James Park, home of his beloved football club.

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user ratings (28)

Comments:Add a Comment 
Staff Reviewer
October 16th 2022


Well written, pos, most probably not my kind of rock, even though I like Tom Petty.

October 17th 2022


Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Thank you both. Second album is even better !

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