Review : General Fiasco - Unfaithfully Yours
BbcNorthern Irish four-piece General Fiasco are one of those guitar bands we’re good at nurturing in the UK. You know the ones: perky pop-rock, a bit punky, massive chorus hooks, sensible fringes. Tellison, Straight Lines, Kids in Glass Houses, The View, You Me at Six; for some reason – perhaps their guitars are too loud – these bands do well enough to make a few albums but never quite break through into the global mainstream.
General Fiasco are certainly giving it their best shot. Their debut album, Buildings, featured a couple of massive singles, and they’ve continued where they left off with Unfaithfully Yours. Gold Chains, Waves and The Age You Start Losing Friends are all frighteningly catchy. There’s a pounding intensity to the latter that elevates this album to new heights, Owen Strathern howling the verses like Jesse Lacey from Brand New.
When they nail it – see also Bad Habits and Temper Temper – General Fiasco are a joy to listen to, everything well oiled and working smoothly. Their enthusiasm and melodies are infectious. But too much of General Fiasco’s output is only competent at best: the pop-punk formula is so trite now, so tried-and-tested, that there is zero room for complacency. The choruses have to roar, the riffs have to sparkle, and the drums have to be given some welly....full text
RteBack in the 1990s - before the term was hijacked - the revered US label Deep Elm began releasing compilations called The Emo Diaries. The project showcased acts from across the world and concluded with a final, four-years-in-the-waiting volume in 2011.
Had they been starting out during the series' heyday, General Fiasco would've added to any album's tracklisting, but with the right push and luck the songs on Unfaithfully Yours could give the Derry quartet the level of success that eluded nearly all the Emo Diaries' honour role.
The first seven tracks here are shoo-ins for singles, and while General Fiasco over-reach on the two ballads in the second half, this is a supremely confident record of pop hooks and guitar mauling that deserves the roving ear of many a Foo Fighters and Two Door Cinema Club fan.
High infidelity, if you will....full text
StereoboardNorthern Ireland’s latest offering to the wider UK music scene, General Fiasco have so far failed to live up to their promised potential. Debut album ‘Buildings’ could be forgiven for being a bit hit and miss as the then trio embarked on their first effort to write a full length album. ‘Unfaithfully Yours’ suffers from similar restraints as ‘Gold Chains’, ‘Bad Habits’ and ‘The Age You Start Losing Friends’, laden with infectious hooks and catchy vocals are somewhat let down by ‘Brother Is’ and ‘The Bottom’ which don’t really seem to keep pace with other tracks.
The overriding sound is still very pop-punk a la Pigeon Detectives and The Enemy; while the latter has had more enduring success, the former has fizzled out of the public eye despite a promising start. General Fiasco are in danger of falling into the second category if they don’t convert the potential into a more solid and consistent album next time round. However, the strength of ‘Waves’ and the heavier ‘Bad Habits’ which reveals the band’s rock roots, keep fans and critics at bay and reassures all of the undoubted talent of Enda Strathern (guitars/backing vocals) and Owen Strathern (bass/lead vocals) combined with the thunderous drumming talent of Stephen Leacock and recent addition Stuart Bell (guitars, keyboards) from disbanded Belfast heavyweights, Panama Kings.
‘This Is Living’, a piano led ballad, reveals a softer side to Strathern’s maturing writing ability but ultimately detracts from the pace set by other songs and fails to stand out despite being the song most detached from the pop-punk sound. On their game, General Fiasco are a force to be reckoned with; an army of teenage fans can attest to this while the stronger songs on 'Unfaithfully Yours' are evidence of real talent and good song writing. However, they are not yet ‘great’ songs and at least until their next effort, General Fiasco will be seen as a band relying on the strength of singles rather than albums. The potential and talent is there, albums...full text
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