Fiver – Let it All Fall Down

Fiver
Let it All Fall Down

On the band’s fourth full-length album, Fiver has shined some of the edge off its sound and embraced a lush, almost shoegazey brand of indie rock that’s extremely pleasant to listen to. Certainly Fiver couldn’t be called the next coming of My Bloody Valentine or Ride, but these folks are obviously influenced by such acts as well as, perhaps, the more modern indie pop of Death Cab for Cutie and Mercury Rev equally.

I suppose being together for more than 10 years will prove a band’s talent, and Fiver has talent in spades. The production is crisp, the instrumentation tight, and singer David Woody’s high-pitched voice is perfect for the style, at times hinting at a Stereolab-esque quality. There’s plenty of lush layering to the guitars here and a nice mix of keyboards and studio sounds filling out the thick yet light sound.

The opening “Last Song (First)” shows off the sweet, light feel, drifting nicely into the more upbeat “Lost Enterprise,” which features more guitar and drums but still focuses on layering and some feedback fuzz. The song’s climax is one of the best moments on Let it All Fall Down, in the more edgy guitars and soaring vocals.

I’m reminded of the Rum Diary on the keyboard-led “Scared, Not Scared,” and the more spacey Mercury Rev on the ethereal title track. “The Mantis” is rather danceable, which seems all the rage these days, but has some more rocking moments, and “The Compositionist” nicely mixes indie pop with the lush style. I prefer the more guitar-oriented songs, though, like “Keep Us in Stitches,” which nicely maintains the soaring quality while putting more emphasis on the guitars, and “That Town,” which has a nice, soothing pace and at times sounds a tad like Radiohead. But “Dead Roads” takes a different approach, allowing synths to lead but on a more ballad-like pace, which is quite nice at the mid-album point.

I’m a fan of Woody’s voice, yet I know it could put some off on the band’s earlier, more rocking albums. Here, though, it seems a perfect fit, lush and high and sweet, able to soar nicely along the synths and guitars. I shouldn’t lead you to believe this is true shoegazing music; it’s more modern than that, more a layered brand of indie pop. But I doubt many shoegazer fans will be disappointed, and old fans of Fiver should also enjoy the direction the band is taking.