It’s a pleasant shock to the system that a once hard-core group has somewhat revamped their entire sound, becoming the East London surf rock trio Fair Ohs. On their debut outing, Everything Is Dancing, they’ve mixed their punk know-how with a soundtrack of breezy instrumentals. The formula sounds familiar enough. Though comparisons can certainly be drawn to similar bands, Fair Ohs’ sound is more messy and gutsy, a more kick-ass version of surf rock.
The band flirts with a variety of inspired sounds throughout the recording, all of which keep the tone extremely light and carefree. The title track and lead single serves as a perfect introduction to the group. Frantic, Asian-inspired strings back the sunny song of light cymbal crashes and metallic guitar noodling. “Colours” focuses on Foals-esque guitar that weaves in among simple vocals, repeating throughout the duration of the song.
Where Fair Ohs set themselves apart from similar acts is with their brand of punk-infused Tropicália. Opener “Baldessari” combines hazy, static guitar work that jangles amongst rambunctious harmonies, proving insanely hard to forget. This song in particular stands out as a more aggressive version of something Vampire Weekend might do. “Katasraj”, more than likely taking its name and mystical influence from a Hindu temple, begins as a fragile, ambient affair before jolting the listener with frenzied percussion and guitars. “Summer Lake” seems an appropriate closer, leaving listeners with a proper dose of yelps, as well as one last burst of noise.
Everything Is Dancing is a quick recording, with each song clocking in under five minutes. With an abrupt punch of color and a slight touch of punk, each track takes on a life of its own. Relying on catchy lyrics and fast-paced instrumentals, Fair Ohs have created pure summer fun.