Hello Fiasco redefine 2000’s Pop-Rock with their resounding new album, ‘Find The Shoreline’.
Leaning on the evocative songwriting and resounding choruses which dominated early 2000’s Pop-Rock, the Canadian-American five-piece have rightfully earned comparisons with some of the scene’s most prodigious artists, including Fall Out Boy and Panic! At The Disco. But while undoubtedly inspired by this sentimental era of music, Hello Fiasco far from rely on its nostalgia, with their diverse soundscape and expressive lyricism presenting a definitive identity, showing just how innovative this style of music can sound almost 20 years since its heyday.
With Spotify receiving an early release of ‘Find The Shoreline’ back in May, the band’s resounding potential is clear to see, with the album surpassing 1,000,000 streams in less than 2 months. An attack on the senses in the best possible way, ‘Find The Shoreline’ holds all the traits of an enthralling rollercoaster, with its deviating pace and fluctuant emotions ensuring no two songs sound the same. ‘It Makes Sense’ kickstarts the ride in impressive fashion, gently climbing the chain lift with the diligent piano chords and probing percussion, gradually introducing the bass before embracing gravity and detonating into the first mammoth chorus of the album.
These grand, abrasive choruses crop up time and time again throughout the album, and are a testament to Ivan Burke’s penetrating percussion, and lead vocalist, Eric LaBossiere’s imposing vocals, which at an instance can propel a track into sheer pandemonium. ‘Listen To Me’ and ‘Hold Me Close’ offer two great examples of this capability, the latter of which is dying to have their lyrics pelted back at the band by a rowdy arena crowd. The incredible ‘Gorgeous Girl’ shares similar traits, however the track’s 80’s new-wave elements feature some glossy synths, evading your cranium like shooting stars in the night sky, while the infectious chorus sounds like something which would go off at any indie club across the globe.
But showing their diverse approach to songwriting, Hello Fiasco are equally as captivating on the more sombre, mellow cuts. ‘Atlantis & Compatible’ is a perfect example, where the slow, conserved acoustic instrumental sets the stage for some incredible harmonies between singer and guest vocalist Erin Propp, who’s ethereal vocals help invoke a dream-state atmosphere on the track. ‘Words Are Fast’ offers an alternative example of this, with the delineation of the potency of words emphasised through the melancholic slide guitar and the elucidatory lyrics; “my words did the killing”.
This balance of compelling stadium anthems and provocative, acoustic slow burners proves the band are the furthest thing from one-dimensional, offering breath-taking passages which are impossible to foresee. While much of the credit rightfully lies with the band, praise must also be accredited to the meticulous Randy Merrill, who’s contributions towards mastering the final results of John Paul Peters’ production and exquisite mix extracted the very best. Knowing exactly when to include (or even exclude) certain elements is a hard craft to master, yet the band repeatedly show their class on this front. An example of this adroitness is the inclusion of the haunting strings on ‘Before Time Leaves You’, offering a chilling touch, while exemplifying the feeling of yearning projecting from the track.
Thematically, ‘Find The Shoreline’ is as diverse as it is sonically, covering a range of emotions from pain to elation, grief then heartbreak. But amongst its diversity, one element which crops up repeatedly is the concept of ‘time’. ‘Before Time Leaves You’ certainly falls under this category, with its evocative approach reinstating time’s one-way street, constructed to be taken advantage of. This is tackled from a different perspective on ‘One Phone Call’, a brutal heartbreak anthem which reinforces our strong outlook on the past, with the lyrics “if you don’t do things before it is too late” expressing the impact emotions have on the linear construct of time.
‘Trust’ closes the album in fine fashion, a cinematic finale who’s omitted crescendo is replaced with the sombre closing note of “we revel in the pain”. But whether indulging in the empathy of ‘Worried Sick’ or revelling in the swagger of the Queens of the Stone Age sounding riffs on ‘Chess’, the Canadian-American quintet invoke every possible emotion throughout ‘Find The Shoreline’, and the finesse with which this is achieved provides a solid foundation for the band to build on. A truly electrifying album.
Favourite Tracks: It Makes Sense, Before Time Leaves You, Gorgeous Girl, Atlantis & Compatible