There is currently a craze sweeping across the islands of the United Kingdom. It seems to be grabbing everyone by the scruff of the neck and screaming at them to pay attention to new bands emerging from within the country. It’s called the NWOCR (New Wave of Classic Rock) and it’s getting to the point where it’s quite unavoidable. Bands within this craze are being pushed by everyone; Classic Rock Magazine, Planet Rock, Hard Rock Hell and the fine people at Down the Front have been on the case for a long time.
Many of the bands involved in this craze are unsigned. Fragile Things are one of these bands and the Bristol based 4 piece have quickly grabbed the attention of many new fans. They released their debut EP ‘Broken Sun’ in 2017 to much acclaim and now they’re following it up with ‘Echo Chambers’.
Straight off the bat it is immediately obvious that Richie Hevanz (Vocals), Mark Hanlon (Guitars), Steve Lathwell (Bass) and Hugo Bowman (Drums) are intent on delivering hard hitting stadium rock to the masses. Opening title track ‘Echo Chambers’ has a big ol’ riff at a tempo that makes jumping around to it compulsory rather than an option. Hevanz has a big voice suited to the big stage, comparable in places to Myles Kennedy and also to swaggering Avenged Sevenfold frontman M Shadows. The chorus is huge and the track passes by in a blur, as you become absorbed by the bands immense power.
‘Adrenaline’ is a softer affair, more heartfelt in its delivery, plucked straight from the Alter Bridge school of chorus writing. That’s not to say that it’s a copycat. Fragile Things have a modern take on the Hard Rock genre that makes them original and yet accessible at the same time. Again, the chorus is a big singalong and as I sit at my kitchen table waving my arms about with my 3 year old daughter wondering just when her Dad lost his marbles, I realise in 6 minutes I have been wowed.
At first, with ‘Pick Your Poison’ I thought my phone had taken me to the Those Damn Crows album, with the riffs from Hanlon immediately comparable to a band they share a genre with. A mellow verse follows before another huge chorus (that stadium thing coming back all over again). Bowman is obviously a powerhouse of a drummer, really forcing the song through at all points and he is more than ably supported by Lathwell, whose bass sits nicely in the mix giving a solid rhythm foundation. A tasteful solo from Hanlon in the middle of this song is not at all out of place.
‘Disappear’ is the first single from the EP and has a video (see link below). It’s also very obvious why it’s the first single. It’s a big radio friendly song with memorable vocal hooks everywhere. Many Fragile Things set lists will end with this track in the future. It’s uplifting and heart-warming, but it doesn’t prepare you for the big downtuned riffery of final track ‘The Big Reveal’ which bounces in with a big jump along riff and more of a metal edge to it than the rest of the EP. Hevanz sounds his most Kennedy-esque during this chorus, pushing his voice with epic high pitch vocals. As a big sludgy, double kick backed riff sees the song enter its final 40 seconds, you’ll be nodding along (maybe head-banging depending on where you are at the time) and you may, like me, be a Fragile Things convert.
Hard Rock has, at times, had a rough ride. This could be attributed to the Love/Hate relationship people have with Nickelback, the main purveyors of the genre or it may be due to the fact that aside from Nickelback, not very much of it has been radio friendly.
With bands like Stone Broken, Those Damn Crows and now, Fragile Things…All that is changing. Hard Rock is back!
Pick Your Poison
The Big Reveal
To find out more from Fragile Things check out the links below:
Video link for ‘Disappear’ - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XxM_rVc-J3o