Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Ian Grimble and Richard Matthews of Communion Music at 2KHz, Crouch End, London
The people in Fear of Men songs are prepared for the incisions. They're pretty sure that they'll get no numbing agent and those with the knives won't ever consider putting them under before they get to cutting. It's going to have to be some gritting of the teeth, some grinning and bearing it. It's not going to feel good, but there's little to do but to sit idly by and let it all happen. It's as if they've silently agreed to the treatment and they can't get out of it. What they'll do in preparation for these moments is they'll take themselves to the ocean and they'll lie themselves out on the sand and try to absorb all of those elements of bashing tides, of land and sea wrestling, of wind, sun and sand and see if any of them help out in calming them down.
The group from Brighton, England, presents characters who are essentially being dismembered emotionally here and there, whittled away into fractions of the souls that they used to be. It never sounds like are too stricken by their plights though, as they seem to understand that these things happen - that advantage is taken and everyone finds or backs into ways to hurt others. There's no immunity to be had from these very rote interactions and sequences. A song such as "Pink Frost," gives to us a woman who's admitting to some dirty deed - the details of which we aren't told - and there's someone, a dear friend or family member, who is yet to learn of said deed.
Lead singer Jessica Weiss sings, "How can you live, when you've seen what I've done?" making us believe that this is serious and the hurt will be impossible to bridge. It will sink this friendship and the sinner knows it. She knew it before she did anything and still she did it and now she doesn't know what she's going to do if her poor judgment will lead to that death that she predicts, and if it does, how on Earth is she herself going to keep living?
It's a big steaming mess that the band still delivers as a drowsy afternoon haze that might just turn into a shadow at any second and be gone. "Mosaic" is another song where an alteration is going to be made, where someone's about to be broken down into pieces, "like it's normal." The sense that it could be normal is enough to sooth the nerves and make it feel like standard procedure. Weiss sings, "I'm young and I'm selfish and I'm living with regret," and we're sure that it all works as that sought after numbing agent for everything's that's to come.