Fleeing New York - AOK

Early 2004 saw Fleeing New York’s first promo drop through our letter box and I can honestly say we got pretty excited about it here. Move the clock forward a year and I’m pleased to say that not only has their debut album arrived on our doorstep, but so did a few extra copies that have been signed by the band themselves, which we’re chuffed to be giving away (check out the ‘Free Stuff’ page).

So, do you need a good reason to get your hands on a copy of this album? Well, Fleeing New York have got eight good ones, starting with the opener, ‘Monkey’, which is one of five new tunes on the album.

One of those things about Fleeing New York that makes your hair stand on end is their distinctive duelling/harmonising vocals and ‘Monkey’ is no exception. Right from the outset Russell and Emma’s voices are in near perfect harmony for what is a reasonably gentle opener which manages to be almost Celtic in melody and certainly tribal in rhythm, thanks to Matt’s splendid drumming during the verse. The chorus doesn’t disappoint, with its drop in tempo adding to the moody atmosphere that also ensures the second track, and old favourite, ‘Oh My God’, delivers it’s long fuse and bohemian punch right on the nose.

For those who want to know a bit more about ‘Oh My God’, ‘Sun Is Low’, and the ever bouncy ‘Scandinavia’, check out our review of last years promo for the finer details. However, for those who just want to know if these tunes are any good, well, suffice to say that even here, in their slightly more restrained and re-recorded form, all three tracks are more than capable of frightening, delighting, and inspiring in equal measures; often leaving you wondering whether you’ve just been hit by the musical equivalent of a bus. 

All of which brings us nicely to ‘Hollywood Bowl’. Being the first single to be lifted from the album this is definitely a tune of the ear-catching sort, managing to be pop and rock and anthemic yet subtle – all at once. But, perhaps more importantly, after several spins it managed to grab that number one spot in the constantly revolving Wurlitzer of tunes permanently stuck in my head (and that’s no mean feat). From its intoxicated verse to the spiky instrumental chorus, right through to the foot shuffling, funked-up ending, it’s clear that this is a great tune and one which is certain to take residence in your cranium for some time.

The title track is a clear statement of musical health. Here, Emma’s vocals take on their Siouxie Sioux like delivery adding an unsettling feeling to the tense verse which, after the calming bridge, launches into a potentially mosh-worthy chorus. The guitar riffing here is excellent, giving the chorus a solid backbone. However, it’s during the outro where that the guitars really shine by turning it up a notch and delivering yet another top tune which will no doubt end in small frenzy when played live.

Add to these the rocked up diversity of ‘Surefire’ along with the morning after vibe created by the chilled ‘Blind Fever’ and you have an album of eight ingenious and distinctive songs that demand nothing short of consistent repetitive play.

If you are still none of the wiser then let me put it this way, Fleeing New York make the sort of accessible post grunge bohemian rock the Dandy Warhols dream of making but never manage to produce.

This record really is that good and with a pretty extensive tour of the South East underway, you have no excuse not to go and see them.

Habert
Pete Habert was sub-editor for The Mag and co-ordinated submissions from the swarm of writers that contributed articles from their local music scenes.