The cover letter that came with Fear Report's Pandemic had a single description, a quote from Rock Sound (UK) Magazine: "Fear Report could just be about to save the world of rock n roll." That's a bold statement, as bold as it is to make it your single band statement. Makes you wonder who's being presumptuous.
What you've got here is some heavier rock, mostly of the grunge/post-grunge variety, but with enough groove to suggest an homage to classic melodic hard rock. Two things are key here, maybe a third.
One is the immense rhythm section which is both precise and relentless. Second is the guitar work; Fear Report could steal a page from many current modern acts and simply offer massive riffage in chord arrangements. But not this clan. There's some hearty and hefty guitar solos here.
The third might be the depth of the song arrangements. While the songs are cast in a heavy motif, there's adequate creativity, melody, hook, and variation to make the songs both intriguing and entertaining. (There are exceptions, like the dismal opener Mariana Trench or Viral.)
Notably, vocalist Dan O'Berry has that necessary indistinct voice, peanut butter stuck to the roof of the mouth washed away with whiskey, to equal the best Nineties grunge breathers. Though easily adequate to task, and fitting the band, considering the strength of the music, I'd rather listen to the music than O'Berry's vocals, at least sometimes. Nevertheless, it all works well together.
On Pandemic, Fear Report resuscitates and re-imagines the best of Nineties grunge, which envelopes heaviness with melody, accessibility, and some genuine guitar hero fire. Favorite picks: 5 Dirty Cents, The Front Line, Bloodrust, Sleeper Cell, and Paper Wings and a Handgun. Recommended.
On Pandemic, Fear Report resuscitates and re-imagines the best of Nineties grunge, which envelopes heaviness with melody, accessibility, and some genuine guitar hero fire.
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