Once in a while, a band I never previously given much thought, returns with newfound vigor and completely takes me aback. Such is the case with Fear of Men and their latest single “Alta / Waterfall”. The track is set to arch Loom, their formal full-length debut. I say formal, since Early Fragments, their collection of early singles and studio outtakes from last year, could easily be mistaken for a proper album. Each individual track flowed naturally into the next, but with the exception of “Spirit House” where they kept it simple and largely sidestepped slippery dream-pop snags, it unfortunately didn’t leave any lasting impression on me.
To be precise, “Alta / Waterfall” is two separate songs, where the short, soft interlude of “Alta” moves promptly into “Waterfall” – the main event. Since my last encounter, singer Jess Weiss voice seems to have evolved and found a fragile, an almost Dolores O’Riordan sounding huskiness. At any event, Jessica Weiss’ vocals uncover a wholesome strength that, along with Michael Miles’ brisk drumming, has turned Fear of Men away from any sort of “dream-pop” regularity. Loom is out April 22 via Kanine Records.