Band Of The Week: FADE

photo-6A little context to start: Margate, England in the early 90’s. My friend Alan and I were basically a couple of little teenage hillbillies from a decaying seaside town in Kent who, like many others at the time, had stumbled into hardcore punk via grunge rock right around the time the members of the original youth crew bands were growing out their hair, smoking weed and rocking out. At the time I recall I was a bit disappointed that those bands were yesterdays news since it was the visceral energy in the photos on the sleeves of records by bands like Youth Of Today and Judge that really drew us in and took a hold of our imagination. But sadly we’d missed the party by a couple of years and by 1994 the sonic landscape had changed somewhat. It was bands like Undertow, Unbroken, Ressurection, Earth Crisis, Strife that were the current sound of Straight Edge hardcore so naturally we cast aside the Rev all stars and what we considered to be the Ghost of Straight Edge past and instead gravitated towards that contemporary take on things, slower and heavier and more militant than the previous generation and reflective of changing times, values and ideas…..

Meanwhile, as I mentioned earlier, the dudes who’d defined and been inspired by the Rev years were already well onto another progressive tip. Bands like Quicksand, Shift, Into Another, Stillsuit  and the UK’s own Understand were developing chops and exploring structures that were closer to the underground alternative noise rock of Helmet and Jawbox etc that I’d been listening to a couple of years earlier. It took me a while but I finally got my head around what was going on and by the time Quicksand’s Manic Compression was released, I was well on board. Apologies for the flashback intro but It’s these ‘stripey t-shirt bands’ and the feeling of nostalgia they evoke that springs to the front of my mind when listening to this weeks featured new band Fade.

One of the privileges of being an old fart in hardcore is that occasionally ‘the kids’ take pity on your tired arse and you get hooked up with shit ahead of schedule. My man Matt Kay had mentioned he was working on something new and that he thought I might dig so he sent the Mp3’s over.  Comprised of four frustratingly young men who’ve already earned their stripes in bands like Thawed Out, Grazes, The Pact and Obstruct , Fade have somehow managed to boil down all the good stuff about that aforementioned period of post-hardcore and alt rock into one tasty little demo.a1289381304_2


There’s hints of Gavin van Vlacks stylistic influence in first song Hurricane alongside the more obvious Wally worship. In fact theres a few nods to Burn’s use of tense dynamics running throughout this demo like steel wire which keeps this demo grounded in the core with a rhythm section that has really got it’s shit together providing a solid foundation for Fades propensity to flirt with effects driven dreamy college rock sounds. Some of the twinkly almost shoegaze guitars suggest an appreciation for the likes of Ride or Lush in their formative years.  It’s a potent mix, with crunchy angular rhythms  complimented by an almost pop sensibility, maybe a little Kill Holiday in there too? The songs are catchy as hell with big choruses and there’s already evidence of some talent for accomplished songwriting going on. When bands like this occasionally surface from within the hardcore scene they are almost always let down by having a vocalist who simply isn’t good enough to carry a melody but young Connor Hehir has a sincere voice and a good understanding of vocal placement, the shit is delivered fluidly but with enough ragged throat to keep me interested. Reminds me a little of the dude from Seaweed in places too.

Stocks and I went down to catch their debut performance at some practice rooms in Leeds last week, opening up for California X (whom we stupidly decided to swerve in favour of a sub-standard burrito). The band looked understandably nervous given the type of crowd and it being the first show but they played a tight set, songs sounded great and we were both really impressed. They filled out the set with a solid cover of Understands ‘Bored Games’, which pleased me greatly though I imagine I was the only one who gave a shit! But the choice of cover sat seamlessly alongside their own material which should give you an indication if you are at all familiar It’s early days but I hope that the bands confidence grows and they start to bring some personality and mood to future performances. Swing the guitars around a bit or something. The reason bands like Quicksand et al were so compelling live was because they were just punk kids playing rock music and they bought that underground intensity and energy up with’em to the surface. Fade have written some great songs here, would love to see’em played with some attitude!

Alongside bands like Nibiru, Chain Of Flowers and Cosmic Thoughts, Fade are taking the lessons, values and chops learned from hardcore and are building it into different shapes and breathing new life into old ideas. They have set themselves a high standard for future work with this demo and I’m really excited to see how this band develops over the next few months. A precocious talent indeed and one to keep an eye on, I think big things could beckon.

Listen to them HERE

And fuck it, here’s the official Bored Games video from Understand

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About Nathan Bean

Tyrant/ Editor Nathan is a 'former member of...' numerous mediocre punk bands and internet gobshite and has been involved in the United Kingdom hardcore scene since the mid 90's. Now retired from active duty he spends his time writing about gaming, movies, music and comics, shouting at the television and threatening to start another band.

3 thoughts on “Band Of The Week: FADE

  1. What’s up, brother? I’m just getting rolling on a blog of my own, and someone sent me a link to corehammer. Awesome stuff! I have a post of my skateboard collection coming up over the next few days, and some tutorials on painting Terminators are in the works. I’d dig it if you checked it out.

    • I tried to comment on your blog but I had a technology fail. Nice blog dude, looking forward to seeing the complete tin flat. I think a few of the painters in the Corehammer Crew would be into it.

    • Jake, thanks for getting in touch, glad you’re picking up what we are laying down. Had a look at your site mate, looking good. Will follow with interest!!!

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