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THE FIERCE & THE DEAD

Post Rock/Math rock • United Kingdom


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The Fierce & The Dead biography
THE FIERCE & THE DEAD came about from an improvised recording experiment that was initially intended for guitarist Matt STEVEN's second solo album, but it started to grow legs and arms and evolved into its own animal with Kevin FEAZEY on bass and Stuart MARSHALL on drums.

Their first EP 'PART 1' (one 19 minute long track) came out in 2010 to unexpected critical acclaim. They released their full-length debut 'IF IT CARRIES ON LIKE THIS WE ARE MOVING TO MORECAMBE' in May 2011. The record, called '...a breath of fresh air' by Rock-A-Rolla magazine, is dedicated to the memory of close friend Dan Wilson who passed away during the recording of the album. Recorded as a three piece, and featuring Terry EDWARDS (GALLON DRUNK, NICK CAVE, TINDERSTICKS, P.J.HARVEY) on saxophone, the band enlisted an old friend, guitarist Steve CLEATON, to help perform the tracks live.

The band played a string of live dates at the end of 2011 and also recorded an e.p, entitled 'ON VHS', released on March 2012, the first to feature Steve as a permanent member of the band. The e.p. was again received favourably by fans and critics alike, described by Here Comes The Flood blog as "...KING CRIMSON meets SONIC YOUTH", and saw TFATD perform shows around London over the summer of 2012.

In October 2012 the band toured the UK as part of the Prog Magazine endorsed 'Stabbing A Dead Horse Tour', along with KNIFEWORLD and TROJAN HORSE, which ended with a sold out show at The Lexington in London. Throughout early 2013 they continued to play live whilst writing songs for the second album. In August of the same year they were nominated in the 'Limelight' category of the annual PROG MAGAZINE Awards.

TFATD decamped to the rural idyll of Farheath Studios in May and laid down what would become the new record over the course of four days. 'SPOOKY ACTION' was released in November 2013, with the album will be backed up by a string of live dates around the UK and Europe continuing into next year. This was the first TFATD album to be released through Bad Elephant Music, the label who signed up the band in early 2013.

Matt described the album as "Songs about cults, quantum physics and absent friends". Terry EDWARDS returned to add brass to two tracks and Sarah GILL, from MADAM, contributed cello.

Matt, Kev, Stuart and Steve have played together on and off in various guises for over 10 years as well as performing with other bands and as solo artists.

Matt has ...
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THE FIERCE & THE DEAD discography


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THE FIERCE & THE DEAD top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.52 | 10 ratings
If It Carries On Like This We Are Moving To Morecambe
2011
4.44 | 5 ratings
Spooky Action
2013

THE FIERCE & THE DEAD Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

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THE FIERCE & THE DEAD Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 3 ratings
Part 1
2010
2.00 | 2 ratings
10x10
2011

THE FIERCE & THE DEAD Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Spooky Action by FIERCE & THE DEAD, THE album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.44 | 5 ratings

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Spooky Action
The Fierce & The Dead Post Rock/Math rock

Review by Second Life Syndrome
Collaborator Post/Math Rock and Crossover Teams

4 stars Who says instrumental music is boring? I know there are many out there that simply skip a band if they don't have a vocalist, but, if you do this, you'll miss some truly fantastic music. Take this new album from The Fierce & the Dead, "Spooky Action". It is completely unique, eclectic, and jammed with personality. It's the very definition of enjoyable.

The band certainly leans towards the math rock label, though that doesn't cover it even close to completely. The music, however, is full of sharp, sudden changes, and the fast pace of the music makes all of this seem so breath-taking. It's a roller coaster ride of music in every conceivable way. The music is very bass driven, as Kevin Feazey on bass is one of the highlights of the album. Loud and technical, the bass is the very foundation of the album. Add in Matt Stevens and Steve Cleaton on some very diverse guitars, and you know you are in for some funky interplay between instruments. Stuart Marshall adds oomph to all of this with his goosebump-inducing performance.

"Spooky Action", then, is technically proficient, but the personality is what really sets this album apart from the rest. Part of it comes from the guest musicians on brass and cello, but the rest comes from superior, playful writing. This is not a dark album. It is hefty, but light-hearted, fun, and delightful. The instrumental interplay is one point of wonder, as no one instrument overshadows the others. Like a well-oiled machine, The Fierce & the Dead pound and jam away with a perfection of unity. They can switch from folksy to metallic to rockin' all in the blink of an eye.

So, then, "Spooky Action" is the intersection of hand clappin', foot stompin', and head bangin'. It's not only a treat musically, but it's also a head-scratching good time because it is so complex, but so, well, fun. Skilled musicians alone could not have made this album. "Spooky Action" was written by true artists.

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 Spooky Action by FIERCE & THE DEAD, THE album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.44 | 5 ratings

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Spooky Action
The Fierce & The Dead Post Rock/Math rock

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

5 stars There are times when a reviewer's life is not an easy one, and this is one of those times. Here I have the second album from an instrumental quartet (who use a couple of guests sparingly ' including some great brass from terry Edwards on two numbers), and I'm really not sure how to describe it. Saying that it is an incredible piece of work that grows on the listener each and every time they play it probably doesn't give enough information. Saying that they have large math rock influences, obviously have spent a lot of time listening to Robert Fripp, and are an incredibly tight outfit also doesn't really state what these guys are about. In Stuart Marshall they have a drummer who can keep it simple, or can turn into a demented Keith Moon when the need arises before getting back to business and providing something like a simple drum roll. Bassist Kevin Feazey often employs one of the filthiest bass sounds I have heard in a while (think of a distorted Chris Squire), yet he can also tone it down both in sound and attack, and knows when not to play at all and provide space for the twin guitars of Matt Stevens and Steve Cleaton. Having a rhythm section that can play such a huge melodic counterpoint gives a great foundation for these guys to go off and have a real blast.

Complex, intricate, all over the place yet always making sense as they go from one motif and style into another, these guys use dischord and disharmony as close friends to really stress what they are doing. In some ways this is quite a close relation to free jazz as they bound along and keep throwing musical ideas out here and there and seeing where they will be led. To discover that this was recorded in just four days is incredible, but probably explains the life and vitality that is prevalent throughout. If you like your music to be cutting edge, yet melodic, hard rock/metal yet progressive and full of jazz influences, or if you just want to discover yet another amazing band then you need to visit their site at www.fierceandthedead.com and find out some more for yourselves.

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 If It Carries On Like This We Are Moving To Morecambe by FIERCE & THE DEAD, THE album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.52 | 10 ratings

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If It Carries On Like This We Are Moving To Morecambe
The Fierce & The Dead Post Rock/Math rock

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 'If It Carries On Like This, We Are Moving To Morecambe' - The Fierce & The Dead (6/10)

UK progster Matt Stevens has been receiving some noticeable attention lately, with his solo material becoming talk of the walk among prog circles. The Fierce & The Dead is a band of his, and this act is where Stevens appears to throw all of his post-rock inspiration. After a couple of mini-albums, the band has come out with their debut, 'If It Carries On Like This We Are Moving To Morecambe'. Eclectic is one word I would use to describe what goes on with this album, although everything sticks within a post-rock genre. Post-rock is often a hit- or-miss type of music for time, and this album has a share of both hits and misses, although the pros happen to outweigh the cons.

Here, my strongest reaction was from the sheer diversity of different post-rock styles this band was hopping between. Here, I am hearing Godspeed You! Black Emperor explorations, the cinematic harmonies of Explosions In The Sky, the dissonant meandering of And So I Watch You From Afar, and even jazz blending that I might hear from the genre's more adventurous musicians. Keep in mind that none of these styles are really mixed together to create a common identity for this album. Instead, what we have are a sample of the styles within post-rock that must have stuck out most for this band, and they then chose to dabble with each of them, presumably to see how it turned out. Remarkably enough, more or less everything here pulls through. The album opens with an interesting concrete sound experiment, using plenty of digital loops and what-have-you, and later in the album I am hearing guitars express everything from anger to romantic beauty. The Fierce & The Dead's best emulation of a style is likely the times where they go for the Explosions In The Sky feel; they really manage to batter down that minimalistic, yet bright and uplifting feel.

Of course, the problem with an album that seems defined on copying others is that inherent lack of originality that comes with it. It's true that The Fierce & The Dead could have put their own spin on these styles, but that simply is not the case for the most part. Here, I am not hearing a band with an identity play, but rather a trio of skilled musicians paying a respectable tribute to the icons of post-rock. That isn't so much a bad thing as it is a disappointment. The fact that these guys are able to imitate a style so well makes me wonder what an album of theirs would sound like if they went their own way with it. The most original and striking thing I heard on this album was the last track of the album, in which they finally start getting something a little more refreshing together and a saxophone solo even comes to lead the band away. That is what I want to hear form the band, more moments where I get excited, rather that cock my head in nostalgia for the times I was listening to other post-rock bands.

The Fierce & The Dead are certainly an able group, and there's really only one thing (albeit a large one) that's keeping them from fulfilling their talents. Their debut is rather promising, but I need more from this band before I can say I'm really impressed.

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 10x10 by FIERCE & THE DEAD, THE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2011
2.00 | 2 ratings

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10x10
The Fierce & The Dead Post Rock/Math rock

Review by memowakeman
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

2 stars A couple of nice songs!

This is a single taken from The Fierce and The Dead debut album entitled "If it Carries on Like this, We Are Moving to Morecambe" released in this 2011 some months ago. Here we have the title track "10x10" and a bonus one (not included in the studio album) entitled "Foreign Languages", both short songs that together make a seven-minute single. Once again, this can be downloaded via Bandcamp as a pay what you want download, so take advantage of this and listen to it. When you do it, I believe you will be interested in the band and will want to listen to their EP and studio album.

So "10x10" has a wonderful texture. I love how it progresses while the seconds pass, how more elements are being added, and how the repetition of rhythms creates a true interaction between music and person. It is a well composed and elaborated track that will appeal to fans of post-rock in general. The last minute is emotional and particularly good.

"Foreign Languages" has a more electronic-oriented sound which still follows the same path, though it sounds a bit different from other band's compositions. It starts with distorted bass for almost a minute, then drums join and some atmospheric background is added. Later guitars appear and some Nintendo-like sounds can be heard. This is an odd, but cool track after all.

I have nothing more to say than invite you to listen to this band, they are talented and promising, so surely we will have news from them for a long time. My final grade for this single is two stars, and you know, not because I don't like it, but because a single is mainly just for fans.

Enjoy it!

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 Part 1 by FIERCE & THE DEAD, THE album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2010
4.00 | 3 ratings

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Part 1
The Fierce & The Dead Post Rock/Math rock

Review by memowakeman
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars A wonderful epic!

This is the first song released by British band The Fierce and The Dead which last year (2010) saw the light as an EP with the name of "Part 1", an ambitious eighteen-minute track that invites us to listen to this project by Matt Stevens, Kev Feazey and Stuart Marshall. Honestly, I listened first to their debut album which really caught my attention, that is why I decided to get more of their music, which by the way can be downloaded as "pay what you want" via Bandcamp, so go and do it.

An hypnotizing sound spring from this track, which is gradually progressing and with the minutes adding new elements. It starts slowly but little by little the intensity and emotions are increasing; there is a fantastic atmosphere that sometimes sounds a bit dark, like waiting for something, and in occasions a calm, tranquil and relaxing one. The first explosion comes after three minutes when guitars create a heavier sound, accompanied by louder drums and the always constant and accurate bass sound. Stevens' guitar is wonderful here, we are used to his acoustic guitar, but now with electric he can also produce a lot of things.

After five minutes the song calms down a little bit, returning to its original form. Then bass stands alone and little by little guitars, soundscapes and drums appear in order to put some different textures and colors. Though here the feeling is more like a tranquility passage, you can feel that something is coming. And that's right, because at minute seven the second explosion appears and a gathering of emotions comes. Musically you can listen here to post-rock oriented music, which I adore is that in this single song you can find both, the soft and heavy sides of post-rock.

After ten minutes the tranquility disappears, but there is not explosion either, here the drums work is wonderful, taking more leadership and proposing cool ideas, I really love this passage. But it ends after minute twelve, when a kind of limbo sound stands alone for some seconds until it fades out, when that happens we already have a new structure, bass, drums and guitars reappear with their gently sound, alike to the first part of the song. It once again is gradually progressing and seems that will explode, but this time that does not happen. The last couple of minutes are interesting, with a relaxing atmosphere at first, but the last seconds have a potential and chaotic sound that all of a sudden disappears.

What a wonderful track, I am more than happy with this EP, so I highly invite you to listen to it and believe me you will not regret. If you know my rating style, you know then that I don't use to rate with more than two stars to less than 20 minutes releases (mostly EP and singles) but this time due to the success this track had with me, and because it is really wonderful, I will break my own rules and give it not only three, but four stars.

Enjoy it!

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 If It Carries On Like This We Are Moving To Morecambe by FIERCE & THE DEAD, THE album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.52 | 10 ratings

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If It Carries On Like This We Are Moving To Morecambe
The Fierce & The Dead Post Rock/Math rock

Review by memowakeman
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Review originally posted at www.therocktologist.com

Last month I could listen to Matt Stevens' last solo album, which I really loved. This time I was informed he was about to release a new album, but now with a band. I was really interested and did not hesitate listening to it, and now I can say I am pleased once again. The name of this project is 'The Fierce and the Dead', a trio that consists on Stevens (guitar) Kev Feazey (bass and synth), and Stuart Marshall (drums). The album features ten compositions that make a total time of 37 minutes. It kicks off with 'Flint'. The first two minutes are like an explosion that is progressing little by little. Then the bass lines mark the rhythm, nice drums appear and the sweet guitar creates a soft post-rock feeling, and a charming sound. There are some minor changes while the music passes, but the rhythm is constant and the sound really enjoyable. 'Part 2' starts with a bass line for some seconds, and later drums and guitar join. The sound may be repetitive but addictive at the same time, Stevens guitar work is really delicious and that can be transmitted in each and every of his notes. The first two minutes are gentle, sweet, charming, but all of a sudden it explodes and creates a powerful yet disarming sound. Later it slows down again and finishes as it began. The third track reminds me a lot of some older post-rock acts. The mellow and sweet sound of this two-minute track called 'The Wait' will make you feel comfortable and pleased, even tranquil. With 'H.R.' that feeling disappears and instead, here I can sense some kind of tension, a story of someone waiting for something to happen, until it actually happens. After two minutes the song explodes and that tension becomes a chaos, the sound is of course, louder. 'Hotel No.6' brings a curious atmosphere. I imagine several things in each song, here, after that previous chaos, I imagine the person (imaginary character) being calmed down, resting and thinking of what is coming next; like a moment of reflection and reaction. On the other hand, I also imagined some kind of natural death, the last moments before all goes dark and your soul vanishes.

But wait'you were not dead, you now realize how difficult life is, so you want to escape somehow. That's what I think ofwhen I listen to the nervous and powerful 'Landcrab', a two- minute explosion where drums and guitars take over and decide your destiny. 'Daddies Little Helper' is now something completely different. The charming sound and the post-rock feeling returns. The bass notes are pretty nice and the atmosphere created really friendly. Additionally, here they invited a guest musician, whose saxophone sound is exquisite and fits the occasion. I love when it reaches the third minute, that passage where the drums are announcing another explosion, but all of a sudden the song changes, the sax returns and all together the instruments make an electronic-funk experimental track - weird, but cool. 'Woodchip' is the shortest composition. An electronic and atmospheric interlude, nothing more. '10x10' has a wonderful texture. I love how it progresses while the seconds pass, how more elements are being added, and how the repetition of rhythms creates a true interaction between music and person. The last minute is emotional and particularly good. The album finishes with 'Andy Fox', which happens to be the longest track. This may be the most complex and ambitious song of them all, here they know how to share their feelings, how to put people in the mood and how to use the instruments at the right moment. I mean, I love the piano sound here, the slow-tempo rhythm bass and drums, and once again, the saxophone. All of them create several feelings for me, and a sense of satisfaction. After four minutes the music turns louder and stronger, but at the same time disarming and purely emotional, something that the listener really has to thank.

What a great debut of this new project. I hope they continue with this positive path, and give us (even) better albums in the future. My final grade will be 4 stars.

Enjoy it!

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Thanks to kev rowland for the artist addition.

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