Feverjaw – Brightburn (EP review)

Life as a band should’ve been difficult for Feverjaw. Formed in the latter part of 2019 not too long before COVID-19 hit our shores and with just a couple of singles and live performances to their name, they would be forgiven for downing tools and waiting. Very reasonable.

Instead, the band, with the benefit of Wayne Bassett of Robot Recordings being a close ally, have ploughed on through and after a string of singles in 2020 have upped the ante by releasing this superb five track EP of rock/pop songs, courtesy of SWND Records.

When listening to Feverjaw it feels natural to assign them to the alt rock category and although in a broader sense that is what they are, they are a band who aren’t keen on being pigeonholed. Scratch beneath the surface and the depth is clear, but regardless of what song of theirs you’re listening to, driving guitars, hooks and catchy choruses are guaranteed to be on the menu.

Track two “Wolverines”, as the title may suggest, is the most ferocious song on the EP. Opening with a tearing riff before taking an undulating ride, the chorus of “we bleed, we run, our hands connected as one” adds to the songs already frenzied intensity.

“When It Rains”, the longest and most expansive track in this collection soars and crashes, the pain in singer Hawkins vocals offset by Cait Johansen guesting on backing vocals, offering more soothing tones. “Talk”, the shortest tune on the EP rocks hard and loud. Perhaps one day soon we’ll be able to jump around to it in a sweaty audience…second thoughts, I’ll probably just watch from the sides!

Bookending the EP with the full band and acoustic version respectively is the title track and the song that dazzle’s brightest in this collection. Their catchiest song yet, it is designed for airplay and has already hit number 19 in the Qatar charts, where they are surrounded by familiar names in the music world. Good company indeed!

As I have mentioned before whilst reviewing Feverjaw, their songs tend to get wedged in your head before it has even finished, an innate ability that songwriter Hawkins clearly possesses. “Brightburn” is a perfect example of this and all of the bands best traits are on display, including a slappingly good bassline! “Brightburn’s” acoustic counterpart gives the song a completely different perspective, Aberdare artist Justin Beynon providing delightful guitar work.

The creation of “Brightburn” EP has proved to be a more than solid start to the year for Feverjaw and they will be itching to get out to play these songs to a live audience. If that can’t happen, they will take it on the chin and keep doing what they have been doing and have even talked about the possibilities of a debut album later in the year. With the band’s high output and the continued support of Robot Recordings and SWND records, this is highly achievable and something to look forward to.

“Brightburn” is released on Friday 29th January on the absolutely brilliant SWND Records, their 12th release in a little over a year. Head over to Feverjaw’s Bandcamp page and go and buy yourself a physical or digital copy. Alternatively, give it a blast here on one of those streaming sites they have now.

Gavin Facey 28//01/2021

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