Having made a name from their emotive lyrics and sweeping arrangements on their fantastic first two albums, Fatherson are sounding more playful on their third effort. That isn’t to say those big wide-open choruses have disappeared, far from it, but the window dressing is somewhat different. The epic lifts of the choruses are just as they’ve ever been, but this time around verses are couched in dirtier riffs and gruffer chords, with the band sounding a lot closer and less polished than they have before.
Opener ‘The Rain’ lures you in with a classic Fatherson verse before introducing a fuzzy bassline that carries a swagger you might not have associated with the Glasgow trio til now. Huge single ‘Making Waves’ inverts this by strutting in on a grungy chord sequence before unfolding an XL-sized chorus.
‘Nothing to No One’ features a show-stopping duet with Bryde (Sarah Howells) which although mellower, maintains the raw close-mic’d guitar sound that permeates this record. Guitars and bass sound like they’re being recorded straight out of the amp, without any mess of effects or polish added on top, and it really allows singer Ross Leighton’s songwriting to shine. Beyond the muscular riffs anchoring the songs, Fatherson leave themselves nowhere to hide, but at this point, they’re standing taller than they ever have, ready to face whatever comes.
‘Oh Yes’ is a lighters-aloft singalong that would make Coldplay jealous and is sure to have fields of grown adults bawling along the next time they play a Scottish festival. ‘Charm School’ ramps up the energy after a more laid-back middle section with a crunching guitar assault that would have their compatriots in Biffy nodding approvingly.
Having diligently built their repertoire over the past six years, Fatherson are masters of their own destiny on this gutsy and assured third album.