The Fierce & The Dead – If It Carries On Like This, We Are Moving To Morecambe

UK progster Matt Stevens has been receiving some noticeable attention lately, with his solo material becoming talk of the walk among prog circles. The Fierce & The Dead is a band of his, and this act is where Stevens appears to throw all of his post-rock inspiration. After a couple of mini-albums, the band has come out with their debut, ‘If It Carries On Like This We Are Moving To Morecambe’. Eclectic is one word I would use to describe what goes on with this album, although everything sticks within a post-rock genre. Post-rock is often a hit- or-miss type of music for time, and this album has a share of both hits and misses, although the pros happen to outweigh the cons.

Here, my strongest reaction was from the sheer diversity of different post-rock styles this band was hopping between. Here, I am hearing Godspeed You! Black Emperor explorations, the cinematic harmonies of Explosions In The Sky, the dissonant meandering of And So I Watch You From Afar, and even jazz blending that I might hear from the genre’s more adventurous musicians. Keep in mind that none of these styles are really mixed together to create a common identity for this album. Instead, what we have are a sample of the styles within post-rock that must have stuck out most for this band, and they then chose to dabble with each of them, presumably to see how it turned out. Remarkably enough, more or less everything here pulls through. The album opens with an interesting concrete sound experiment, using plenty of digital loops and what-have-you, and later in the album I am hearing guitars express everything from anger to romantic beauty. The Fierce & The Dead’s best emulation of a style is likely the times where they go for the Explosions In The Sky feel; they really manage to batter down that minimalistic, yet bright and uplifting feel.

Of course, the problem with an album that seems defined on copying others is that inherent lack of originality that comes with it. It’s true that The Fierce & The Dead could have put their own spin on these styles, but that simply is not the case for the most part. Here, I am not hearing a band with an identity play, but rather a trio of skilled musicians paying a respectable tribute to the icons of post-rock. That isn’t so much a bad thing as it is a disappointment. The fact that these guys are able to imitate a style so well makes me wonder what an album of theirs would sound like if they went their own way with it. The most original and striking thing I heard on this album was the last track of the album, in which they finally start getting something a little more refreshing together and a saxophone solo even comes to lead the band away. That is what I want to hear form the band, more moments where I get excited, rather that cock my head in nostalgia for the times I was listening to other post-rock bands.

The Fierce & The Dead are certainly an able group, and there’s really only one thing (albeit a large one) that’s keeping them from fulfilling their talents. Their debut is rather promising, but I need more from this band before I can say I’m really impressed.


1. Flint (5:29)
2. Part 2 (5:00)
3. TheWait (2:05)
4. H.R. (3:18)
5. HotelNo.6 (2:43)
6. Landcrab (2:00)
7. DaddiesLittleHelper (4:20)
8. Woodchip (1:56)
9. 10?10 (4:19)
10. Andy Fox (6:09)


* Matt Stevens – guitars
* Kev Feazey – bass, synths
* Stuart Marshall – drums

Guest musicians:
* Terry Edwards – saxophone



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