There’s something to be said of bands that follow in the footsteps of The Cure or Joy Division (even it’s second generation, New Order). Most of them come off fabricated, labeled as “knock off”s, but some seep by without criticism. With the likes of The Faint, She Wants Revenge, or even Interpol, you’d think the genre by this point has been driven to the ground (if Robert Smith’s career is any example, then take note). Yet bands like Denmark’s own, The Fashion, continue to bring hidden smiles to all those frolicking, melancholic hipsters. And with good reason.
With their first North American date set at the SXSW Festival, The Fashion is something people are already talking about. Maybe it’s the way they sway into that dark material without ever overreaching themselves. On the outside it’s a familiar sound, but it’s that moody yet punchy instrumentation that pulls us in from the rest of the backwash.
“Solo Impala”, arguably the band’s sexiest track, reaches far. The beat is steady, the vocals vaguely parallel that of Daryl Palumbo (the Head Automatica side), and the synthesizers are sizzling. Layer after layer, the song enriches itself on solid production and pleasant little flavors, such as fun sing-a-long harmonies and simple catchy lines like, “Take the money and run! Just take the money and run!”
It’d be a disservice to the band without mentioning, “Like Knives.” Let’s just say catchy is an understatement. This is the type of song that made The Killers’ debut album, Hot Fuss, such a success. Everything clicks. There’s the itchy guitar hook, the heart pacing drum beat, and of course, the lyrics that boil your brain over ten-fold. It’s so monotonous too: “You’re so out of control/I said, you’re so out of control/I said, be more in control/ be more in control.” There’s just something admirable here, the simplicity of it all.
Both of these songs reveal a wealth of talent in grabbing one’s head and screaming, “You hear that? That’s right. I’m staying for good.” That’s what people want in music. More importantly, that’s what those big guys upstairs hunger for too, which doesn’t make their home at Sony and Epic all that surprising.
Presently, the band will be cruising around Europe, particularly Germany, before coming to the States in March for SXSW. Given their New York show at the Mercury Lounge is already sold out, one would be wise to suggest that The Fashion will be making that long trip back and forth over the Atlantic throughout 2008.