Fear of Men, CHUMP at The Hug and Pint, 5/4/16

CHUMP are so nice. I love CHUMP.

Downstairs in the Hug and Pint expectation is not to be captivated by a gig so intimate you really feel it is more of a Saturday afternoon bedroom jam, but some singers really pull you in with their lyrics and easy between-song banter; and I guess lyric subject matter, in this case, matters.

Conjuring up sleepy, hazy days like on ‘Sleep In’, “I slept all day again… it just makes life easier to let the time pass by”.

Sleep or lack of as an indication of the state of affairs is a common theme.

Like not being able to sleep next to a new lover in ‘Shut Eye’, “I’ve been up all night / lying at his side / I can’t shut my eyes,” punctuated with a drum crescendo, deep, grungy distorted chords and a candid vocal that calls to mind Warpaint in moments.

Another band they equal in tight co-ordination and fantastically powerful, witchy vocals are Mothers, set to play The Hug and Pint next month. Go check out CHUMP!

Fear of Men have a fantastic band name that seemed tightly married to CHUMP’s overall ambient, sad and reflective style.

Their blend of indie pop, dance-y synth tracks and amazing vocal pitch strangely struggles to find purchase in the same venue following the intimacy before.

The band’s lead, Jessica Weiss, is an enigmatic figure; diving into creative inspiration as nuanced as Sartre quotes and with an interest in critical theory and feminism, the song material couldn’t be more refreshing and independent.

Yet through the lucidity of her voice some of the more interesting points are lost in it all.

It’s clear though that this is a well-hearsed band, and that everyone is acutely working to bring together the rapturous post-punk melodies; the guitarist have a nice sound and style, translating exactly as recorded.

I’m a big fan of their ‘Pink Frost’ – The Chills cover that feels way more creepy, Kate Bush-influenced than the cleaner tracks they play on the night that all go effortlessly record-smooth.

Perhaps it is just not the right venue or the right collaboration of bands, the connection between audience and band seems a bit lost, but perhaps that was also to do with it being Glasgow and, a particularly chilly night.

Fear of Men is definitely worth checking out for summery, upbeat indie post-punk.

Words: Heather O’Donnell


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