Fiver – Strings for Satellites

Fiver
Strings for Satellites

Fiver are one of those bands that actually defy genres. Their music encompasses melodic and intricate guitar rock, light but emotional vocals, and a unique sense of rhythm and percussion. These parts, taken together, make this album something truly special.
Imagine, if you will, the guys from Built to Spill jamming with a band like Mineral. Those two bands would probably never get together, but Fiver incorporates the best of both styles, really blending a more emotional and complex rock with the lighter, vocal-focused indie rock sound. It’s tough to describe how this band manages to pull such different sounds together. But use plenty of gorgeous keyboards, guitar lines that go from soft one moment to rocking the next, and very high and lovely vocals (that remind me a bit of Magstatic), and you’ll get how wonderful this band is.
I swear, “Turning Your Back on the Bull” starts off like a Tristeza song, which tells you how pretty and intricate it is, and the vocals come in very light and pretty. But things pick up a bit on “Don’t Tell Me How to Rock, I’m From Here,” which has a more complex rhythm and a slightly poppy feel. The sound is toned down a bit, with synthesizers providing a more spacey background on “Mini-Bunny,” and for a second I’m reminded of m.i.j., especially in the vocals. I love the more acoustic sound of “The Devil is Undeniably Real,” and I’m suddenly reminded of Radiohead in the music here, which is saying a lot. “Fun Summer Drinks” has just the most lovely flow and style to it, not too fast but flowing and pretty and textured. “Past From the Future” is probably the most dreamy, textured song here, with the keyboards mixing so beautifully with the guitars and drums and vocals. It’s very light, but it’s not sleep-inducing; it just makes you listen harder. The vocals and piano-like keys on “Please Form 1 Line” make this track one of my favorites, giving it something of the new Sunny Day Real Estate feel, especially as the guitars pick up and start to pour it on. The final track, “Theme from Lo-Down,” is seven minutes of keyboard-driven, light, textured rock. Think Christie Front Drive only a bit more spacey and pretty. And it ends with a brief and pretty pop song, very bouncy and different. Ooo, I love this, a beautiful way to end a beautiful album.
These guys sure have funny names for their songs, and the lyrics alternate between deep and person and light and playful. But the music isn’t silly; rather it’s some of the most intricate and endearing melodic rock I’ve heard all year. It just screams airy and lovely, with some fantastic and complex structures. Fiver are definitely one of the best and most original bands out there right now. I recommend playing Strings for Satellites loud for best effect.