Fashion Week – So Last Season

Like the fall out and indeed initial impact of the detonation of a nuclear device, the sound of US noise mongers Fashion Week is a ravenous inescapable scourge feasting on flesh and senses. Debut album Prêt-à-Porter was savagely enjoyable proof of the fact, its release on Solar Flare Records a testing and thrilling examination of body and emotions. Now two years after its scorching eruption, the band has released So Last Season. A coming together of rare and unreleased material, including Fashion Week’s first demo, two EPs, live tracks and a couple of covers, the album oversees the birth of the band and its growth in sound right up to that first inimitable album.

Founded in 2009 by vocalist/guitarist Joshua Lozano (Inswarm, Jarboe, Cobalt, Family, Shai Hulud, Vampillia), NYC hailing Fashion Week quickly drew eager attention with their diverse, melody tinged swarms of noise. Taking inspiration from the diverse likes of Unsane, Coalesce, and Botch through to Nirvana, Dinosaur Jr, Melvins, and Quicksand with plenty more embraced under their creative wing, Fashion Week soon sculpted their own distinctive dirty sound as evidenced by first EP, Applicator in 2011 and its successor Coextinction #11 two years after. Prêt-à-Porter was the wake-up call to broad attention which the striking re-emergence of earlier and rare material courtesy of So Last Season can now only reinforce.

The album opens with the three tracks which made up Coextinction #11, songs the band were invited to record for the internet label of Unsane’s Dave Curran, Coextinction Recordings. The raw, at times almost carnal assault of Heroin Chic is first. As nagging citric guitars and a gloriously grumbling bass instantly descend, an underlying melodic lure simmers and brews, subsequently taking its central spot in the grungy smog of sound. Warm vocals spring from within the addictive assault, welcoming yet as edgy as the intimidatingly voracious sounds around them.

Andrew Cunanan follows, its rural harmonica shared comeliness soon a tempest of hungry rhythms and greedy riffs with that snarling bass again addictive bait alongside the furnace of voice and guitar. As its predecessor though, melody and restraint get involved, hand in hand prowling the senses as the former laces seductively wiry grooves. The track is pure magnetism, a trait matched in strength by God Save McQueen. Its hardcore rapacity smothers ears before twisting them with a web of flavours all bleeding aural and emotional tartness.

The brief rabid attacks of both Fab and Smyze follow; two live cuts which infest body and psyche with their caustic holler and predatory sonic trespass with the second a beast of a proposal stalking the listener with its sludge bred intent. Their debilitating prowess is followed by a cover of the Helmet track, I Know. A calmer affair with harmonies instantly slipping their invitation into the more fractious draw of guitars and bass, the song flirtatiously twists and swings like a primal seductress, never moving out of second gear but only increasing its siren-esque appeal with each enterprising second.

The next three tracks come from un-released EP Little Black Dress which seemed to have been pushed aside as the band worked on Prèt-â-Porter. Lydian Hearst dances with discontent and melancholic charm first, melodies a sombre enticement and rhythms a truculent incitement though they too develop a vibrant if filth lined swing led by the ever gnarly bass. With Lozano’s vocals a plaintively bracing squall, a squall in time joined by a tamer presence, the track boils in touch and temptation before So Last Season unveils its abrasive grunge clad pop ‘n’ roll on the table. The song is a spiral of contrasts, like a maelstrom of Converge, Sofy Major, and Melvins, and as imposingly catchy as it is greedily corrosive.

The following Little Black Dress, featuring guest vocals from Dave Castillo, Kurt Applegate, and Tom Tierney, equally has infectiousness coursing irritable rock ‘n’ roll seeing bodies bouncing as the senses shrivel under vocal causticity and increasing sonic hostility, only to be re-animated by the spicy grooves entangling song and listener.

It would have been a crime if the EP had never seen the light of day, one of many major reasons to grab the album, a felony repeated if Rich Hallister, a song originally recorded for Prêt-à-Porter which the band eventually did not feel fitted, was not heard. It too is ferocity of noise and attitude with a virulent catchiness which enslaves ears and hips, rogue beats alone a busy temptation as vocals increasingly lose their grip on composure being matched by the growing bedlam of guitar.

With Vinny Signorelli of Unsane guesting on drums, Fashion Week takes on his band’s track Only Pain next. A potent mix of sample and keys draw the listener into the waiting doomscape of sound and emotion, Lozano searing it with his raw throated delivery backed by the equally apocalyptic and melancholic roar and melodic suggestion of guitars. It is a compelling take on a great track arguably giving an even grittier and rawer aspect to its emotionally decayed antipathy.

The digital version of So Last Season is completed by the re-mastered version of the band’s original demo, Applicator, which also comes as an additional 7” with a vinyl edition of the album. Beginning with the rusty hues of Fierce, the four tracks making up the release are the heart and seeds of Fashion Weeks’ current sound, the source of uncompromising intent and endeavour making up the impressive stature of Prêt-à-Porter. The track is undiluted sonic threat and emotional turmoil, a vat of creative rancor matched by that festering within the equally corrosive and catchy Heidi Klum and the hook wired Bryant Park, the second a web of guitar woven tempting and intrigue wonderfully sullied by Lozano’s flesh grazing vocal deliver and increasingly ruinous vitriol.

Completed by the hardcore scourge of Fabulous, the track pure venom in noise and presence, So Last Season is a must for newcomers to the band, for those who missed out on their earlier assaults and noise rock victims as a whole.

So Last Season is available now @ https://www.fashionweek.bandcamp.com/album/so-last-season

https://www.facebook.com/FashionWeekBand       https://fashionweeknoise.com/

Pete RingMaster 29/03/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Fashion Week – Prêt-à-Porter

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US noise breeders Fashion Week have a sound which is as scathing as it is caustic yet treats the listener like a king with regal melodies and provocative nuances within the ferocious encounters they call songs. As proven by new album Prêt-à-Porter, it is a striking and intimidating proposition but one that ears and emotions, certainly with the band’s fresh provocation, find hard to get enough of. The NYC trio prey on the senses, torment the psyche, and persistently inflame the imagination, whilst through Prêt-à-Porter provide one of the year’s most compelling releases so far.

Fashion Week consists of guitarist/vocalist Josh Lozano (Inswarm, Jarboe, Cobalt, Family), drummer Carl Eklof (Victory at Sea, Lidia Stone, Inswarm), and bassist Oscar Albis Rodriguez (A Great Big World, No Way, Nakatomi Plaza), and began its sonic explorations, if you go by the band’s bio, supposedly around the late 1980s. Three albums have been tucked under the band’s belts, though we can only find evidence beyond their words of the excellent EPs, Applicator (2011) and Coextinction #11 (2013), whilst and similarly again according to their bio, 1994 saw the death of Lozano, though this tragedy has been apparently followed by his ghost ripping up sounds and invention in bands like Family and Inswarm. There is a ripe confusion and humour to the band which certainly in the case of the latter, spreads to the music in many ways and adds to the fun of digging and exploring deep into debut album Prêt-à-Porter to reap all their inventive twists which come with the choicest rewards.

Opener Fendi Bender instantly treats ears to a sonic smooch before expelling a flavoursome blast of agitated rhythms and spicy riffs aligned to a delicious growl of a bass presence. A respite is in place as the clean tones of Lozano open up the lyrical narrative over those still highly tempting beats, a moment carrying a definite Nirvana-esque whiff to it. It is soon immersed in a wall of sonic hostility and vocal ferocity but gains a foothold again as the raw wave ebbs back readying itself for another intensive return. It is a captivating slice of diversely flavoured noise rock which swiftly has ears and appetite enlisted in the album’s potential and soon to be revealed addictive adventure.

Chorusace is the first to reinforce and feed that promise; its vocal sufferance an angst driven squall over transfixing rhythms and seductive grooves, both courted by just as magnetic shards of Pret_a_Portersonic ingenuity. Thoughts of Converge and Melvins come to mind during the track’s brief tenure, but also suggestions of the inventiveness of bands such as At the Drive In and Coilguns. It is the same with the excellent Meek is Miznabble which follows, the song’s beats and sonic tenacity, a maelstrom of unpredictable and furiously agitated ideation, though it too embraces a calmer and more relaxed passage of clean vocals and winey grooving.

The slow enticing of Summer Line keeps the fire of album and enjoyment burning next. The carnivorous tone of the bass is a thick instigator of the song’s prowling gait and oppressive shadows whilst Lozano’s guitar winds melodically around them with seductive tendencies. Again the eye of the storm moments of the provocation has a Cobain and co spicing whilst the tempestuous roar and corrosive brawl of the track is all Fashion Week designing.

The swinging sticks of Eklof provide a contagious trap as Fur Free Friday leaps into ears next, his inventive enticing an infectious lead into the melodic intrigue and creative maze of the song. Its sinews and bellow is not far from the surface though, expelling ire and antagonism within the magnetic landscape of the outstanding encounter.

The piano led Klosstrophobia explores a web of sound straight after; post and noise rock colluding with elements of death and post hardcore for an enthralling and intensive examination of songwriting and listener. It takes time to fully reveal its strengths, casting a slower persuasion compared to other songs but finding powerful success ultimately, which is not quite the same for “FASHION”=~S/(\$)/COLLAPSE/GSO. A patchwork of vocal samples over a mist of sonic distortion, the track is more an intro to the closing Haute Topic, though if not meant that way its intent was missed by our understanding. It is ok but easy to pass over after a couple of runs of the album foiled by the urge to dive into the triumph of Haute Topic. Grunge, noise, and melodic escapades all twist around each other for a thrilling and explosive conclusion to the album. It is the pinnacle of the release, helped further by the incendiary mixes of vocal delivery, sonic styles, and simply warped imagination, and almost alone gives the reason why Fashion Week should be on the catwalk of your attention.

     Prêt-à-Porter is a treat which might take time to steal your ardour but eventually will become one of the year’s favourite events.

Prêt-à-Porter is available now digitally, Cd, and 12” vinyl via Solar Flare Records @ http://music.solarflarerds.com/album/pr-t-porter

https://www.facebook.com/FashionWeekBand

RingMaster 25/02/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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