Fish Tank ‘The Bend’ Song

Now to anyone who has followed this site or our parent site (musicseason.org), you will of course be familiar with my admiration towards this group. Fish Tank are one of the best independent groups in the UK right now, in fact maybe even Europe, so it’s no surprise that I was elated to see this track pop up on my feed earlier today. However, with all this praise and love being shelled out towards them, that has also meant that my expectations are constantly high. What do I mean by that? Well put it this way, ‘Henry’ was my favourite EP of 2012 and ‘Jane’ was my favourite EP of 2015… They have hit home runs on each outing, so automatically I’m expecting a best of three. But back on to the topic at hand, it’s about time we got reviewing this track, ‘heck that’s why you’re all here anyway eh?

I had a real great time listening to this track. It always feels like a gift or a present when Fish Tank release new material. The best way for me to review this song, is to deconstruct it bit by bit, just to tell you why exactly I have this enormous smile on my face.

Firstly, the production was excellent (as it always is with a Fish Tank record). The mix is vibrant and colourful which hence allowed each layer to become pronounced and noticeable. From the crisp tone of the electric guitar, to the heartiness and wholesomeness of the bass, the track has been mastered wonderfully. The drums are always a vocal point of any Fish Tank song and there hasn’t been a step back in anyway this time around either. The whole kit has been perfectly levelled and therefore sounded outstandingly good on big speakers. When combining all these textures, you often hear one or two aspects that are just ever so slightly out, but yet again I can’t point out a single one here. However, if you were to really push me on finding a flaw, the only thing I’d perhaps suggest would be that the vocals every now and then lose their natural tone; but this is preference and only noticeable if you’re looking for it.

Musicality wise this song, like all Fish Tank tracks, was executed with a high degree of professionalism. It’s intelligent, it’s witty, it’s unique and it carries a huge amount of the groups personality. From the laid back JAWS-esque verses, to the frenetic final passage, this song oozes individuality. What I enjoyed the most however, came towards the end of the track when the bass line started to develop into these new quirky sequences (I would of liked to of heard more of this throughout the track). Sure it’s not quite as technical as the stuff on ‘Henry’ but it shows an ever evolving side to the group; one that is becoming more and more understanding of its market. Don’t get me wrong, I love the crazy progressive, genre tearing pieces the group have done prior to this, but I also like their deviations down the commercialised route. It allows for a more cohesive and focused track, one that should sell too.

Lyrically the song was wacky and unusual, so really pretty normal for Fish Tank. Even after three listens, I can’t really work out what the song is about but hey ho I could say the same about half of their discography and that’s why I love it! It’s different yet personal, there are no cliche’s or cheesy one liners here, dysfunctional poetry is what I like to call it.

The vocal performance here is pretty solid too. Ed’s voice is always memorable no matter what track it appears on and that reputation carries through here. I enjoyed the hook in the chorus and genuinely felt like this was one of his more expansive performances. What I mean by that, is that the exploration of different melodies outside of his usual format felt new and fresh here. Great Job.

8/10 – Fish Tank have yet to score under 8 here and on Music Season, that says it all really.

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