Fader – The Upside of Being Down (ep review)

It could just be that I’ve put an end to my own ignorance of the local scene, but it definitely does feel as though Newport is in the midst (or hopefully beginning) of a surge of musical creativity.

Guitar music has been at the forefront of this movement and while this is always going to be the case in Newport with it’s rich heritage in indie/alt rock, it’s always refreshing to hear something a little different and Fader certainly bring that and more with this edgy ep.

Fader are styled as hip-hop/rap (that’s stolen from their Bandcamp tagline btw), however it’s not necessarily as simple as that as the duo audibly draw influences from all quarters. I’m probably not the best placed person to judge this genre, but it’s not difficult to recognise that “The Upside of Being Down”, along with b-side “Crystal Clear” deal heavily in attitude and hooks.

Both songs, although hard edged and street (could I sound any less street?) are deeper than you’d first imagine. Tackling the topical subjects of well being and mental health, it shows social awareness and emotional intelligence at a time when it’s never been more important. Couple that with the skills of Scratch Master Slider and it’s a winning formula from contrasting musical backgrounds.

As well as the two main tracks there are multiple remixes and instrumentals of the two original tunes that leave you wanting more, as good music always should. Scratch Master and Thumbz can be more than pleased with this work, their first ep for two years…lets hope it’s not another two before the next one!

“The Upside of Being Down” was released as couple of weeks back on Bandcamp. Check it out here for free and follow Fader on Facebook for more releases.


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