Starting 2023 as they mean to go on, Fizzy Blood are here with their 13-track debut album, ‘Pan Am Blues’ which has been written and recorded over the past four years. Although, compared to the very first iterations of their signature sound, it does strike as a departure musically, the slower, more reflective pace and tone makes this a can’t-switch-off record.
Back in November, I reviewed their fantastic Brudenell gig, which had a really celebratory mood, given they’d not played in their home city for some time. They’ve been busy, you see; filming the three-part dystopian video series to accompany the album is no mean feat. And, of course, they’ve been honing and refining their craft. String quartets, organs and almost retro-style rock elements are all captured in this melodic collection.
Although the delectable ‘Pearly Whites’ is the successful latest single from their build-up campaign — which has rightfully garnered spins on BBC Radio 1 and Amazing Radio — there are so many noteworthy pieces I’m eager to discuss. You’ve got the ultra-experimental tunes like ‘When It All Falls Apart’, alongside the Metronomy-esque, surfy-natured ‘Out On The Waves’, which masterfully employs some vocoder. And most of these tracks are fairly short for maximum impact. Two songs even have guests; ‘Famous Planes’ with L E M F R E C K and ‘Ka Palaho Beach’ with Dead Nature.
But if you’re after some chronological continuity, let’s go right back to the beginning, where ‘Pan Am Blues’ delightfully opens with ‘Centre Of Nowhere’ and then leads onto the dreamy ‘Complementary’. This is still a real winner in my book. That said, I very much enjoyed ‘10-23’ when they played it recently, so having this available to stream 24/7 sure is a perk.
The same goes for the uber-jangly ‘Flavour Of The Month’, which might now be my favourite. But if you’re into your soulful serves, the softer, more tinkly bops, such as ‘Viva Lost Vegas’, really do paint this band in a different light to when they began shining.
January just got off to a flying start…
If you only download one track, let it be: ‘Flavour Of The Month’