FEWS: Glass City (Welfare Sounds) - review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Friday, September 29th, 2023  


Glass City

Welfare Sounds

Apr 14, 2023 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

The global COVID-19 pandemic hit everyone hard, but not many felt its force with the same brutality as FEWS. With tours and festival shows planned to promote 2019’s critically acclaimed sophomore album Into Red planned for the following year, everything came to an abrupt halt. Causing the Malmo-based four-piece to become marooned in their native Sweden for the pandemic’s duration. Although not an ideal scenario by any stretch of the imagination, it also enabled the quartet to go back to the rehearsal room and start planning then eventually writing the songs that would become their third record.

Three years later and Glass City is finally with us, an accomplished collection of songs that don’t stray too far from the narrative set by its predecessors; the aforementioned Into Red and 2016’s debut MEANS. Yet by the same token, Glass City feels like a record that’s been nurtured over time. Indeed, having the freedom to take as long as they needed without any label pressures or interference—Glass City is FEWS first release on Gothenburg independent Welfare Sounds—works wonders here.

It is also the first record to feature guitarist Jacob Olson, who joined the band shortly after Into Red came out before the pandemic struck. Glass City is a journey that’s both introspective—opener “Yoga Instructor” and recent single “Strafe” both demonstrate FEWS’ gentler side with distinctive aplomb—and frenetic; “MASSOLIT” and “Adore” are full throttle, noise pop gems that flirt somewhere between Interpol’s intensity and A Place To Bury Strangers’ sonic hedonism. While “Get Out” could be post punk’s answer to the “Time Warp” off The Rocky Horror Picture Show in a parallel universe.

Elsewhere, both “In Head” and “Fled” raise the decibel count even higher; the former by way of its relentless aural assault whereas the latter hints at a subtler approach via a bass intro straight out The Cramps’ songbook before pressing the bludgeon button as its first verse explodes into life. While penultimate number “Outing”—two and a half minutes of caustic instrumental ambience—links the aforementioned couplet with closing piece “Amend,” an instantaneous floor shaker that recalls Bug-era Dinosaur Jr.

Glass City represents a welcome return for Malmo’s finest musical exports, and one that should ensure their ascent is restored to the heady heights they looked set to reach pre-pandemic. (www.fews.bandcamp.com/album/glass-city)

Author rating: 8/10

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Average reader rating: 8/10


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