In a year which has seen a global pandemic, mass protests and rioting, explosions, fires, floods, earthquakes, and even fucking murder hornets, wouldn’t it be nice to not have to worry about what final cruel tricks 2020 might still have left up its sleeve, and just have something nice and dependable to enjoy?
Cramming a massive ten songs into under thirty minutes, My Fictions’s latest offering Stranger Songs (Top Shelf) is a short, sharp containment of chaos. Furious drumming and guitar work punctuate each track in the album as this four-piece race through the album with blistering speed. The album is unrelenting from beginning to end, stopping for only the briefest moments to transition between tracks before hurtling full throttle into the next song. Rooted in hardcore, the US band throw in progressive elements that push the edges of the genre out into new territories. This movement away from basic song structures allows this album to inject new life into a sometime stale genre. The songs twist in unexpected directions, carefully crafted to capture the listener.
Much of the album may have be filled with ceaselessly aggressive songs, however I didn’t find it conveyed any depth of emotion, often feeling like it was imitating rather than truly capturing. It was only the end of ‘Airport Song’ and sections of ‘Parking Lot’ that displayed any semblance of expression. Really this band has a lot to offer the scene, but this album is too polished, too pristine. The album is wrapped in a clean-cut production that simply destroys the rawness of the material and sugarcoats any bleakness the album tries to emulate. The work and the talent that has gone into this album is coursing through each track, but they have altogether tried too hard on this record scrubbing out the ultimately addictive rough edges on the sound.