In today’s waterfall of new music, it’s like drinking from a fire hose. Artists have to be exemplary or resonate specifically to stand out in the saturated industry. Record label giants that can control the narrative don’t run the show like they used to. Indie bands, SoundCloud artists, access to streaming services… hundreds of mid-level labels and bands themselves can now run their own games. It’s the democratic world the Internet promised us, but the cost is the requirement of musical prowess or the blessings of the algorithm gods to survive.
Tulsa-based rockers Fight the Fade have musical prowess such that if you listen to their new album, you could store it away as recognizable if you again heard it in the future. Among a swath of other bland rockers, it’s not not memorable. If its individual parts were judged on their individual marks, the parts of the whole would make for notable release. The best part of the album turns out to be the expansion of their implicit influences (like Linkin Park and even Jars of Clay), and, when layered with their talent, is the bellwether of the piece.
The problem is that there is something missing, and it’s hard to ignore the hole. With the exception of “What’s Left” (a banger and absolute home run) and “Wild Ones” (has the chops to be a Yungblud collaboration), FTF left too much amiss in their lyrics. They mostly tell stories in each track with a level of vulnerability somewhat surprising for the heavy rock genre, yet the way they use simple prose and overly-rhymed stanzas are mismatched with the industrial-grade rock it accompanies. In all the sensitivity and honesty and intense instrumental confidence, there is a lack of complexity and consideration given to an entire portion of the release.
Aside from the (mostly) lyrical mediocrity, In Love. In Hope. In Peace. is a well-developed piece of work. It’s got enough energy to carry you through a tough workout and enough emotion to do the same as you navigate a rough patch in your life. But on the next release, Fight the Fade should avoid the airport mantras and embrace deeper lyrical consideration.