A band like Failure doesn’t come around too often. Ever since their inception, they have been pushing the boundaries of rock music. It’s been talked about for years now how much of an influential masterpiece their third album, Fantastic Planet is. That album is truly the new Velvet Underground and Nico. Just like with The Velvet’s anyone who has picked up a copy of Fantastic Planet has inevitably started a band. But that’s not what this is all about. Instead let us focus on the fact that Failure have released their third new album since their return in 2014 and this one is without a doubt in line with the great albums they have produced. Wild Type Droid is out now and it’s absolutely stunning.
Wild Type Droid fits in its own part of Failure lore. As much as it fits within the “space rock” spectrum, this one hits differently. Firstly the music on this record is a bit more rhythmic and complex. The crisp production courtesy of Ken Andrews is superb. Every nuance that should be heard is making for one hell of a listening experience. The performances from all three members especially drummer Kellii Scott is astonishing. There’s almost this whole other level that Ken, Greg and Kellii went to with this one. Painting vivid pictures with the lyrics and melodies along with music that creates a truly whimsical feeling makes Wild Type Droid an album that stands out. The way the album starts, flows, and ends is something special on its own. It’s one of those that you feel compelled to start again as soon as it is over.
This year has already given us so many great albums and Failure’s Wild Type Droid is right there amongst those (Quicksand’s Distant Populations, Every Time I Die’s Radical, Genghis Tron’s Dream Weapon to name a few). For a band that’s technically been around for over 30 years there is no stopping Failure. If anything it’s as though the reunion only made then stronger and reinvigorated. There is no substitute for Failure. Other’s have tried to capture what they do but, if it’s not Ken, Greg and Kellii, it’s just going to sound like an imposter. Cheers to Failure for yet another triumphant album. Personally, I can’t wait to hear these songs live. It’s going to be out of this world good!
One of my all time favorite bands is Failure. Ever since I was a kid and heard them (pretty sure it was Magnified that I heard), I was sold. Then comes 1996 and they release one of my all time favorite albums in Fantastic Planet. For over 20 years, this album has yet to leave my rotation. It’s a perfect album and one that has gone on to influence and inspire countless other bands and artists. In a way, Fantastic Planet is the new equivalent to the first album by The Velvet Underground. Anyways, I could go on and on about the awesomeness of this record. Instead let’s focus on how great of a song “Daylight” is to end the album. Clocking in at 6 minutes long, this song is epic and one of those songs that makes you want to start the album all over again. The way the music starts and builds creates this amazing tension that finally explodes at the end. “Daylight” is an absolute essential song to listen to on how to close out an album properly. Everything about this song is stunnging from the way Ken, Greg and Kellii all play off each other, the production, the lyrics and melody and to top it off the tones, oh the tones! Bottle those tones and sell them!
Failure- Daylight (Live at The El Rey- Reunion Show, 2014):
Anytime there is an announcement about the band Failure, I can’t help but get excited. Failure is one of the best bands I’ve ever heard. Their landmark 1997 album, Fantastic Planet should be in the Smithsonian. That’s how perfect it is. Now though, Failure are back again with a new album entitled Wild Type Droid which will be out December 3rd (via Failure Music). The 10-song album features the first single “Headstand” which as Greg Edwards describes as “The lyrics come from my earliest memory of spacing-out in my room when I was seven, trying to conceive of infinity and watching the dust falling through the bars of sunlight pouring through my blinds,” explains Edwards. “I had heard that a lot of that dust was made up of skin cells and that really stuck with me. It’s kind of a love song to those bizarre innocent moments of solitude.” This new album is classic Failure with some new experiments along the way. Speaking on that, Ken Andrews said “We’ve been together long enough to know that some of our best ideas come directly from these experimental sessions. For this album, we simply cultivated that methodology for a much longer time than we have in the past. It brought out the trio aspect of the band. There was a feeling we could really push the individual parts further away from each other and let the more interesting and challenging combinations take center stage.” Now with all that in mind, how can you not be excited about a new Failure album! Pre-Orders Available HERE!
I’ve always enjoyed when a member of a band you really dig, steps away from the comforts of their group and spreads their wings with different projects. After some time away from his previous group, former Memento singer, Justin Stewart Cotta has returned with another stellar collection of songs. The 5 songs that make up this new self titled EP are full of the emotional prowess that Justin was known for in Memento as well a bit of a dramatic tinge from his time on stage in his native Australia. These songs are introspective and full of charm. My favorite song as of this writing is “Stranger.” There is something truly hauntingly beautiful about this song. The lyrics and melody along with the piano, dissident guitar, and subtle drums (all of which are played by the esteemed Kellii Scott of Failure) really make this come alive. I personally am looking forward to hearing more from Justin. And it would be pretty awesome if there was some new Memento in the near future too.
Justin Stewart Cotta:
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.
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!
Since they announced their reunion, I was hoping for a new Failure album. When I first heard Fantastic Planet way back when, I became hooked and was left wanting more. Thankfully in 2014 they returned and took everyone by storm by picking up right where they left off. Their new album The Heart Is A Monster is well worth the almost 20 year wait. Not only does the album seamlessly pick up where Fantastic Planet left off, it takes you further down the rabbit hole only to come out on the other side with an entirely fresh outlook. Songs like “Hot Traveler,” and A.M. Amnesia kickstart the album in a very upbeat way. “Counterfeit Sky” is an absolute stellar track. I had the pleasure of hearing this song live recently, when you hear this song, you’ll know Failure means business! The softer side of the album has songs like “Mulholland Drive.” This song is a little bit Pink Floyd mixed with The Beatles. Other highlights from the album are “Come Crashing,” “The Focus,” “Atom City Queen,” and two older songs that were reworked “Petting The Carpet,” and “I Can See Houses.
Failure have released what I consider to be the absolute album of the year. The dynamics of this band are unparalleled and inspiring. There is something truly special about the music that is made by Ken Andrews, Greg Edwards and Kellii Scott. The Heart Is A Monster is a modern classic without being a throwback album.
As June 30th gets closer, my excitement for the new Failure album is growing by extremes. I really think their new album The Heart Is A Monster is going to challenge anything so far and will come out, for album of the year. On Monday, Failure released their video for the first single from their long awaited follow up to Fantastic Planet. Here it is in all it’s glory!
The amazing Failure debuted a brand new song at South By Southwest in Austin, TX this past weekend. As Ken Andrews said in the introduction this is the opening track from their forthcoming new album.
Failure- Hot Traveler