NME Magazine || 10 Tracks You Have To Hear This Week
Fixers - ‘Who Says Boys’
As swathes of shimmering electro give way to a proper pop chorus, you quickly realise that, like Friendly Fires before them, these Oxford scamps should only release records in the summer. Which is something of a conundrum given Fixers’ year-long mission to graduate from the buzz band class of 2011. Rick Martin
Hey Brothers and Sisters, as we’re sure a lot of you can tell, the album release has hit a glitch and isn’t out today.
We’re so sorry we couldn’t let you know sooner but we’re working super hard to get it to you as soon as we possibly can. Hopefully a new release date will be set in the next few days and the album should be in everybody’s CD players in the next few weeks!
All you vinyl fans fear not, the 12” will still be available to buy as of Thursday and we will post links soon. Everyone who has pre-ordered hold tight too, it is coming!
Below is an exclusive remix by our compadre Chad Valley of our forthcoming single, Really Great World.
Thank you all so much for your patience, this album is very dear to us and we can’t wait for you to hear it - Jack, Jason, Roo, Michael & Christopher xx
For as long as it has been on the cards, the idea of a debut album by Fixers has been exciting and perplexing in equal measure. While a string of justly hyped singles and EPs introduced to us the Oxford band not unreasonably described as “an avant-garde take on the Beach Boys”, it increasingly seemed that it might be a struggle to adequately capture their dizzying, rapidly-evolving psychedelic pop sound in the LP format. Here is a band, remember, that admitted becoming bored by their own EP in the four weeks between recording and release – how would they feel about not only freezing in time a much larger portion of their work, but then also having to wait for months while it navigated the complex machinery of a major label? An answer is no closer now that the wait is over, but one thing is clear: that if Fixers are bored by We’ll Be the Moon, they’ll be the only ones.
Recorded at London’s RAK Studios with producer Nathaniel Lennox Jr. and mixed by Alan Moulder and Dan Grech, We’ll Be the Moon has seen Fixers take advantage of the resources offered by their deal with Mercury Records. Accordingly, this is a fairly accessible and bright-sounding first LP, which eschews some of the more explicit experimentation of last year’sImperial Goddess of Mercy EP. Instead, established early Fixers highlights ‘Crystals’ and ‘Majesties Ranch’ return to join newer album tracks still pulsing with the influence of Japanese pop, ’60s psychedelia and the band’s distinctive surreal euphoria. Within a few tracks, the idea of a Fixers LP suddenly makes perfect sense; by the time We’ll Be the Moon is over, it has proved itself the natural extension of everything the band has done so far.
One of the things which makes all this so irresistible is the palpable joy and optimism exuded by almost every moment of every song: by remaining consistently shimmering and upbeat without ever losing flow or becoming exhausting, Fixers have crafted a possibly peerless album for the summer. The still-gripping sugar rush of ‘Crystals’ is joined by the confetti pyrotechnics that are the climax of ‘World of Beauty’ (“welcome to my space age”, Jack Goldstein cries appropriately), and almost matched by the tessellating synths and chants of the similarly hectic ‘Pink Light’, which during one break seems somehow to speed up and slow down at the same time. Each track is so intricately layered that close listening always unearths something subtle and new – even the relatively low-key arrangement of ‘Amsterdam’ conceals a live-wire guitar that lingers only for a moment, and Jason Warner’s bass work in particular is often more crucial than it first seems.
Packed with references to far-off places on Earth and beyond, We’ll Be the Moon feels like a journey. History teaches that even the best musical trips can lose momentum near the end, and it can feel that for all their heady psych-pop invention thus far, Fixers might yet fall into the trap of the anticlimactic finale. Thankfully and to the tremendous credit of the band, We’ll Be the Moon concludes with a pair of tracks which may even be its crowning glory. Each building up slowly from a slow, stark base ‘Really Great World’ and ‘Good Night’ each end in a grandiose fashion befitting the real distance travelled across the record. The latter is simply a delight – significantly reminiscent of mid-’70s peak-era Queen, it strips away all of the electronic elements in favour of ringing acoustics, Goldstein’s best vocal performance and a group sing-along which brings the album’s loose celestial theme full-circle, all stars and suns and gaping black holes into which a fading organ eventually drifts.
All said and done, We’ll Be the Moon is the stellar and coherent statement of intent from a band who entirely deliver on the heavy weight of hype and promise built up around them during their short existence. Drawing together strands from rock, dance, electronica and the avant-garde and packaging them to a record that is both distinctively Fixers and worthy of a huge audience, We’ll Be the Moon should be regarded as one of the key British albums of 2012.
™ SONG : I Need A Mess Of Help To Stand Alone by Jack Goldstein.
For ten years, The Beach Boys have been my favourite band of all time. I was fortunate enough to become aware of their concernment at both a time and age where having just enough pocket money to legitimise the purchasing of one cd every two weeks meant that I was coerced into cultivating music with a nurtured and more disciplined tempo than of late. Fortunately, in 2001 Capitol Records decided to remaster the majority of the Beach Boys back catalogue for CD, pairing albums chronologically, meaning that I could get my hands on two albums at a time. For my eighteenth birthday, a friend got me a comprehensive bootleg of the 1967 SMiLE sessions which I obsessed over and when, in 2004, Brian Wilson released his own fully realised version, I rushed out to pick it up on the day of release. I took it home, listened to it several times in its entirety and instantaneously declared it to be the best thing ever. Along with Brian’s sophisticatedly shamanistic and ominously naive 1977 album Love You, it currently ranks as my favourite record of all time. Why then, after having seen both Brian and ‘The Boys’ in concert several times, respectively, am I less than enthused about the prospect of a fiftieth anniversary reunion?
Showering all the love and harmony in the world over recent Beach Boys press releases will do little to annul the capricious working relationships of the band over the past fifty years. In the blue corner you have Brian Wilson, the daydreaming visionary and genius whose harrowing nervous breakdown unfortunately lulled an entire generation into lamentable condescension. Whilst in the red corner you have Mike Love, the uptight, self-affirming scapegoat who vacillates between surfing on a sea of humdrum ditties, reprehensibly camouflaged with stars and stripes and disingenuously bandwagoning the left-field phrenic ideologies surrounding the songwriting of his debilitated adversary when it appears most advantageous.
Anyone with a diminutive grain of investigative discernment will have realised that The Beach Boys have become a rather lucrative trademark over the last fifty years, adorning innumerable t-shirts and baseball caps since their zenith in the mid-sixties. The intellectual property rights to their name remain owned by Brother Records, a vanity record label and holding company comprising the band line-up as of 1966; the chosen insignia being a stencil of the 1909 equestrian statue Appeal To The Great Spirt by Cyrus Dallin. The facetious irony being that Dallin was a sanctified Unitarian, believing in the theological conceptualization that God was but one man. The tempestuous judicial bloodshed between the four surviving shareholders over the last twenty years as to who should be granted rights to The Beach Boys name would readily suggest messrs Love, Wilson and Jardine were alluded otherwise.
However, after several gruelling years of legal blitzkrieg, Mike Love, perhaps duplicitously pre-empting the painstaking regurgitation of line-ups that would ensue due to the untimely deterioration of genuine components, became the sole licensee of the name in 1998; the appeal of preserving the name would become innumerably lucrative in comparison to that of Love’s alone. So why, in 2012, on the fiftieth anniversary of a trademark so impertinently tarnished with guilt, should we celebrate the reunion of Mike Love, Brian Wilson, Al Jardine, David Marks and Bruce Johnston under the moniker The Beach Boys?
The simple answer is, we shouldn’t. This isn’t The Beach Boys, it is simply a agglomeration of greedy senior citizens appropriating a fruitful moniker as a means to lucrative acquisition. Brian Wilson has dismantled over twenty years of alleviating himself of such a burden, brazenly stating in a flagrantly cherubic manner only Wilson could adopt that he doesn’t "really like working with the guys" and that "it all depends on how we feel and how much money’s involved"
As it transpires, from a consumer perspective, quite a lot of money is involved, what with exclusive meet and greet bundles for each U.S show going for $500 on Ticketmaster. As tragic as it is, the only thing keeping this unscrupulous, invisible threat amidst the angelic genius of the band’s work is the consumer themselves; thus, it is our prerogative to demystify this disparaging PR stunt. To quote Wilson, "Money’s not the only reason I made records, but it does hold a place in our lives"
11th May - Joiners, Southampton 12th May - Cavern, Exeter 14th May - Buffalo Bar, Cardiff 15th May - Thekla, Bristol 17th May - 02 Academy 2, Oxford 18th May - Institute, Birmingham 19th May - Shipping Forecast, Liverpool Soundcity 21st May - King Tuts, Glasgow 22nd May - Cluny, Newcastle 23rd May - Brundell Social Club, Leeds 25th May - Aunt Annies,Belfast 26th May - Whelans, Dublin 27th May - Deaf Institute, Manchester 28th May - Bodega, Nottingham 30th May - Scala, London 31st May - Arts Centre, Norwich 1st June - Leadmill, Sheffield