Sunday, April 21 2024

I always enjoy hearing a solid band—drums, bass, guitar, vocals—with a sound that stays true from the recording to the live performance. That’s where the Exeter-based four-piece, no ordinary fish, comes in.

With their latest 8-track album, ‘Adverse Camber,’ they show versatility and cover a lot of ground. The interplay of both male and female vocals takes you through Jefferson Starship vibes to a mix that includes Buzzcocks, Fleetwood Mac, and early Veruca Salt. What’s impressive though is that they don’t come off as a chaotic mix of influences; instead, they’ve honed a sound that’s both cohesive and unique.

Kicking off with the lively Blondie-esque/late punk track ‘How It Lands,’ they smoothly transition into ‘Closer I Am.’ Notably, the shared vocals in the chorus of this track bring to mind Band of Skulls, and provide a contemporary edge.

The album keeps momentum with ‘Confusion,’ adding another layer reminiscent of the bouncier qualities of Blur. The song twists and turns with the bass playing a pivotal role in driving and controlling its direction.

Moving on to the next two tracks, ‘Back to ’91’ and ‘Summer Song,’ we get a more laid-back ’90s indie feel, channeling vibes from the Charlatans and Dodgy. Then, ‘Another Planet’ takes you across the pond, and delivers a sound akin to what we used to get from Hootie or the Gin Blossoms.

The penultimate track, ‘Snarky,’ naturally draws a parallel between no ordinary fish and The Beautiful South. The lush harmonies and the back-and-forth between the male and female vocals share a similar charm and wit and create another top tune!

Now, let’s talk about the final track, ‘Shadowlands,’ and why they say, ‘saving the best for last.’ In my humble opinion, ‘Adverse Camber’ exemplifies this. ‘Shadowlands’ is an intimate love song, steering clear of the usual sentimental clichés. Running at 7 minutes (almost a quarter of the entire album—I did some sums), it manages to keep your interest throughout.

The contemplative vocals, well-executed yet subtle drums, and a melodic guitar solo outro make ‘Shadowlands’ stand out. The song, with its Fleetwood Mac trappings, provides a listening experience where you can truly get lost and ends the album with distinctive flair.

My top picks are ‘How It Lands,’ ‘Confusion,’ ‘Snarky,’ and ‘Shadowlands,’ but, I recommend giving the whole album a couple of run throughs as I’m sure my faves will change over time. Keep an eye on no ordinary fish—they’re gearing up for new music next year, and there are hints of upcoming festival appearances, making now the perfect time to join their musical journey.

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Review

Summary

Check out the versatile sounds of no ordinary fish in their latest album ‘Adverse Camber.’ From lively Blondie-esque tracks to a laid-back ’90s indie feel, experience a cohesive and unique musical journey. Keep an eye on no ordinary fish for upcoming releases and potential festival appearances!
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About Author

Matt Warren

Matt Warren is a Cheshire based musician who studied contemporary music and composition. When not writing for The Indie Grid he enjoys watching 'Breaking Bad' on continuous loop and going to gigs. Since a youngster his fave band have been 'The Beatles' (with 'Cardiacs' in at a close second)... and this still applies to this day.

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