The renowned Ken Andrews, of the very amazing Failure, Year of the Rabbit and ON, as well as being an acclaimed producer and mixer has released the five-song What’s Coming EP via Red Swan Records. The EP arrives with a video for the first single “Sword and Shield,” which is a pointed rebuke of the current President of the United States and Andrews’ first ever politically-infused social commentary via song.
Failure’s amazing, influential, and must own album Fantastic Planet is full of so many great things. One of the best things about the album is the video for the song “Stuck On You.” This song was released as the first single from the album and reached #23 on the US Alternative Chart as well as #31 on the US Mainstream Rock Charts on Billboard. The video itself is something special. Released in 1997, the video resembles and pays homage to the James Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me. The video was directed by Ken Andres along with Phil Harder who has worked on videos for bands like The Afghan Whigs, Low, Incubus, Local H and Prince to name a few. “Stuck On You” is one of those songs that is super catchy but, also a timeless song, just like the video.
It’s been a while since I’ve posted one of these so this one should be quite fun to see what you think. Two very different bands with the same name song. In one corner you have the great and highly influential Failure. And in the other corner you have Sweden’s Blindside. The song is entitled “Pitiful” and each band’s song is quite different from the others. Which one do you think is the best?
Ever since Failure announced their return in late 2013, it’s been a wonderful welcoming sight to have them back. Their first show back was one for the books. It was one of those nights where the stars aligned and everything that was meant to be, happened. Then, they announced The Heart Is A Monster, the long awaited follow up to the highly influential and perfect album Fantastic Plant. The tour that followed that up was something special as well. Now, fast forward a bit and Failure are back yet again with a new album, In The Future Your Body Will Be The Furthest Thing From Your Mind. This 16 song collection, follows in the footsteps of the two albums before and comes across as inspired and chock full of everything you’ve ever loved about Failure.
The release of the album began with a series of E.P.’s, slowly wetting the appetite of their fans. Each release would give you just a taste of what’s to come. Failure has never been a band that repeats itself and it shows on each album. They have honed and perfected a style that is truly theirs. This album is a perfect example of how maturity and life intersect to create true art. In a recent interview, Ken Andrews said that this album is probably the most personal album they’ve ever written and it shows. That’s not to say their previous works weren’t personal, this one really does seem to have an extra bit of pouring out of the soul. Musically this album is stunning. The styles vary from space rock, shoe gaze, and very alternative to some of the heaviest riffs and rhythms they have ever put together. Songs like “Dark Speed,” “Paralytic Flow,” “No One Left,” “Found A Way,” “Distorted Fields,” “Heavy and Blind,” “Apocalypse Blooms,” and “Force Fed Rainbows” are among the songs that really stood out to me. The entire album including the segues (what’s a Failure album without segues), is masterful. It’s an true album through and through. The sequence of the songs and how the ebb and flow goes really creates a visceral experience while listening.
Failure are the type of band that other bands want to be. Over the years I’ve come to the conclusion of who Failure reminds me of and that band is The Velvet Underground. Both bands were ahead of their time, often misunderstood and they both released an album that changed the landscape of music for years and bands to come. Failure’s Fantastic Planet is the 90’s equivalent of The Velvet Underground’s debut album. These two records are beyond responsible for so many bands forming and creating. There is something else about this new Failure album that really stands out to me and that is how truly in sync Ken Andrews, Greg Edwards and Kellii Scott are. The amount of power that rips through these songs is astounding. There’s a sense of urgency about the material and the performances without losing sight of what’s best for the song. It’s remarkable that Failure can continuously put out new music that is this good. Most bands would just choose the safe thing at this point in their career but, Failure takes chances and pushes the envelope. In The Future Your Body Will Be The Furthest Thing From Your Mind is an album not just for today but one that will be talked about for many years to come. If Fantastic Planet cemented the bands legacy, this album is definitely one that will further compliment that legacy.
Overall Rating- 9/10
Failure- In The Future Your Body Will Be The Furthest Thing From Your Mind:
In a surprise move a couple weeks back, Failure released a new EP called In The Future. This is the first part of three releases that will culminate into a full length at years end. In The Future features 3 songs and a segue that sees the band exploring a bit of a different territory musically. Well it’s actually not that different, if you are a fan of Greg’s other band Autolux, there are shades of that band bleeding through into Failure on this new material.
Opening the EP is “Dark Speed” an almost throwback track to the bands early days a la Comfort. The vocals are spaced out in the perfect Failure way but also take turn with its more spoken word style. “Paralytic Flow” is what you’d expect from Failure. This song is a perfect example of what Failure does best. The drums on this song in particular, courtesy of the great Kellii Scott are thunderous yet reserved, exploding at the right times to push the song along. The other new song “Pennies” is actually an older song that the band reworked for this new release. If you have the rarities album Golden, you can find the original version of “Pennies” on there. This is the second time Failure has reached back into the vault and redid a song. On The Heart Is A Monster, the song “Petting The Carpet” is also from the Golden album. And then there is the Segue, this one is Segue 10. It wouldn’t be a Failure release without a Segue.
As an EP this release seems a bit disjointed but, knowing that this is just the first part of something a lot bigger, it gives you just the right amount of a taste to tide you over till the next part comes. Failure are true artists in every aspect. They have always played by their own rules and the results have never disappointed. Ken, Greg and Kellii as a unit are unstoppable and this release is just the tip!
I’m sure most of you are like me and get all giddy when you hear a band you really like do a cover of another band you like and that cover is really good. During their recent tour with Pop Evil, Black Map has been doing pre-show meet and greets and mini acoustic sets. At their show at the Roxy Theatre in Los Angeles, Black Map’s Ben Flanagan (bass/vocals) and Mark Engles (guitar/vocals), pulled out a surprise cover of Failure’s “Stuck On You” and it turned out great. Check it Out.
I’ve been working on revamping the Audioeclectica Podcast for a while now. I didn’t want to make the same type of podcast/show that I’ve been hearing so, I went another route. Don’t think of this as a podcast but rather a radio show. Instead of me talking all the time, I’m going to play you all some great music and tell you interesting tidbits about the band, album, song, etc.
This is will also be completely interactive. I will be taking requests about what bands/songs you want to hear as well as topics you’d like for me to discuss and give my take on. I will be having guest on and they will be picking some of their favorite songs to play.
This is all an experiment but totally fun for me. I hope you all enjoy the show and find some great bands, songs, and cool info from listening.
It’s been a minute since I last did a Song Battle. I have a long list of these to go through with some very interesting “battles.” Here is one of those interesting ones to contemplate. Failure versus Sex Pistols and their songs “Submission.” What band do you think wrote the better song?
Failure- Submission (from the album Comfort):
Sex Pistols- Submission (from the album Never Mind The Bollocks…):
There are two types of bands these days. Those that blatantly rip off the bands they are influenced by, and there are bands out there that use other bands as inspiration to come up with something that really represents them. Libra is a band that falls into the latter. Taking their cues and inspiration from bands like Failure, Thrice and the very underrated Oceanside, the gents in Lybria have made music that is spacey, proggy, and atmospheric. The resurgence of bands like Failure and Hum have really helped bands like Lybria to delve deeper in their repertoires to deliver music that is fulfilling. These guys are on the right track and can only get better. Their debut full length should be out soon, so watch out for that!