You can generally tell a lot about a band by the company they keep. Brooklyn hard-rockers Fear Report just played a show at the Trash Bar, opening for Crooked Man (which is the new project from Candiria’s John LaMacchias and the band now includes Fran Mark on drums). I also saw vocalist Dan O’Berry’s previous band, Maniacal Plan, who sounded similar to Fear Report perform at L’Amour a few years back.
Fear Report’s debut full length, Pandemic, dropped last month and the 13-song (51 min) disc derives its sound from the modern rock/alt-rock sounds of the middle 90’s. This new disc follows the band’s 2009 three song demo, “Theory of Threes”, which Gears of Rock described as “Chock full of hook-ridden guitars whose homogeneous mix of gunk and gleam captures the distinguished Seattle vibe while chunky rhythms aplenty keep the attack just menacing enough to allow melody to seep through”.
Personally, I think Fear Report sounds closer to bands like Fuel and Chevelle than the Seattle grunge sound as, while Fear Report can build up a solid head of noise, they don’t succumb to the post-Zeppelin bombast of bands like Soundgarden nor the lo-fi, near out-of-control punk aesthetic of other bands from the 90’s Seattle scene. At its core, Pandemic is a guitar-rock album and the band’s two guitarists alternate between crunchy riffs and clean solos. Adding to this is Dan O’Berry’s whiskey-blues vocals and a rhythm section that thunders along in lockstep with the rest of the band. The end result is a mature set of songs that both transcends the limits of any individual genre and are more-than-ready for FM-radio play.
Fear Report's next local show is April 13th at Arena Lounge (80-12 51st Ave) in Queens.