Blackpool Winter GardensThursday 3rd August 2017
By AJ Phink
New Orleans, Louisiana’s I’m Fine will release their debut full length album, Never Knowing Best tomorrow, February 3rd 2017, the album was recorded in the band’s hometown of New Orleans by James Whitten with help from Brian Pretus of Pears. I’m Fine combine elements of punk and indie that sit happily alongside post hardcore and emo influences. Whilst this is the band’s first full length I’m Fine have been around since 2011, they released an initial burst of EP’s between 20111 and 2012 and then, at least as far as I can tell, there has been silence, apparently this was due to band members running into personal issues and problems that derailed their initial impetus, but they stayed together regardless of what life threw at them and now it seems they’re back on track with the release of Never Knowing Best.
The album jump starts into life with the lo-fi explosion of Merit Badge, the lead single that was streamed in advance of the release, it carries a raw discordant quality throughout that is reminiscent of an angry hyperactive Dinosaur Jnr, without giving you chance to draw breath the album launches into Dead Eyes, this kicks the pace up a notch and it is swiftly followed by Nabors, this track builds the intensity and incorporates a few math rock flourishes into their sonic assault. Legends In Corners brings a more thoughtful element into the mix that segues into the defiant strains of Cursive before Late Night Talks About Nothing brings an anguished moment to the album. For me Grow With Us and Burma bring the albums finest moments, with fine upbeat and insistent rhythms that are married to their raw discordant style, just as you think I’m Fine are building to a upbeat finale Never Knowing Best has a final twist, it closes with two complex disquieting numbers, Evil Bubbly and Trash Eyes, that brings what has been a wildly fluctuating dissonant debut to a close.
I’m Fine are a band that wear their influences proudly on their collective sleeves, their sound has a resemblances to bands such as Latterman, Gnarwolves, Cursive and At The Drive In, but that isn’t the end of the story, they incorporate different elements and styles into every track making Never Knowing Best an unpredictable beast of an album. It captures the rage of post hardcore, and this is the style that is at their core, but they straddle so many genres you just can’t pin them down, hints of math rock complexity are incorporated, indie and emo sensibilities pervade and it’s all delivered with a punk DIY ethos, with a running time of just over twenty minutes you could argue that Never Knowing Best is somewhat on the short side, but it’s a brief satisfying blast from a band who might not know best, but they certainly know their own minds.
New Orleans, Louisiana’s I’m Fine are premiering the track Merit Badge off their upcoming album, Never Knowing Best, that is due out February 3rd 2017 via Wiretap Records. The new record was recorded in the band’s hometown of Nola by James Whitten (Pears, Thou) with help from Brian Pretus of Pears.
You can stream Merit Badge here
Watch the session performances below.
This is Pears second album for Fat Wreck Chords and the follow up to 2015’s Go To Prison. This is not the kind of fayre we have come to associate with Fat Wreck Chords, this is a brutal sixteen track assault of old school hardcore, all the elements you’d expect are present and correct. The stop start rhythms, the controlled chaos, the frantic drumming and the snarled vocals are all very much in evidence on Green Star. The only respite from the continuous savage pummelling are the incongruous instrumental piano breaks Dizzy Is Drunk and Jump The Fuckin’ Ship, which act as all too brief buffers of tranquillity.
The problem for me, not just with Pears but with a lot of hardcore bands, is that on record the songs become indistinguishable from one another, were it not for the piano breaks this could be one very long song or sixty very short songs. Don’t get me wrong, I love watching hardcore bands live, to me that’s it natural home and where it’s energy and intensity work best, if I were to see Pears live you would probably see a very different review but on record this just doesn’t work for me.
If you’re a fan of the relentless brutal side of punk this will be very much your cup of tea and it’s worth noting that this is an album that divides opinion, a brief internet search reveals reviews of this album that vary from “truly extraordinary” (Punk News) to “diarrhea pie” (Next Punk). This is the nature of punk music, it should provoke strong reactions, the music we love is not there to provide a forgettable background soundtrack to a polite dinner party, it’s there to demand, provoke and inspire and Pears certainly do this.
Depending on your point of view this will be one of the best or one of the worst punk albums of the year, whilst Green Star is not something I would choose to listen to I can appreciate Pears commitment and no compromise attitude to music.
Watch the video below along with upcoming tour dates.
Pears have been non-stop since their inception a year and a half ago, we talk with guitarist Brian Pretus to see what it feels like to be so loved so fast.
Read the interview here.
Be sure to listen to both tracks over at DyingScene.
“These are two songs from a quick session in April that subsequently got re recorded for the next full length. They were the first two written for our follow up, Snowflake is loosely about struggling to identify one’s own power, and Anhedonia is loosely about a joyless life versus oblivion. We’ll be touring with our buddies Teenage Bottlerocket through September/October, playing the fest, and then touring with our new friends in Lagwagon in October/November. New record in February. Stay tuned. This is about to get interesting.”
Pre-orders are live.
Laramie, Wyoming pop-punk act Teenage Bottlerocket has announced that they will be hitting the road with up and coming punk act PEARS for a string of tour dates. Teenage Bottle Rocket continues to support their latest full length, Tales From Wyoming, which is available now on Rise Records. PEARS continue to support their debut album, Go To Prison.
Full tour dates are below.
Ragged New Orleans punk group PEARS has announce a series of UK tour dates serving as support for Red City Radio. The band is currently supporting the European release of their debut full length, Go To Prison, set for release on Gunner Records on January 30, 2015.
Dates can be found below.
Punk band Off With Their Heads has announced a quick listing for upcoming tour dates in March with PEARS. Off With Their Heads’ continues to support 2013’s Home (Epitaph Records) and PEARS continue to support their recent debut , Go To Prison.
Tour dates can be found below.
New Orleans hardcore band Pears have announced that their debut full length, Go To Prison, will get an official European release on January 30th via Gunner Records. The band will also be joining Oklahama’s Red City Radio for a UK and Euro tour next year.
Check out the list of announced tour dates, and Pears’ video for Breakfast, below.