Northern melodic hardcore group FAIR DO’S return with a blistering new single. “Love & Light” is the second taste of their heavier, mature sound; intertwining harder metal influences into their signature technical, melodic style.
“Love & Light” is their second new single, hot on the heels of “Casket,” which was well-received on its release in June. These are their first new songs since the success of their debut album ‘Leopards,’ which launched via Lockjaw Records in 2018.
In contrast to its rosy title, “Love & Light” revels in the despair of self-destruction, and of humanity’s decimation of the environment we rely on to survive. These two themes run parallel in the song’s lyrics and its complex, hardcore instrumentation.
Displaying a mastery of contrasting genres, Fair Do’s flirt with screeching hardcore in the song’s introduction and chorus, before surfacing in uplifting, melodic sections of technical guitar work. Dual guitars fight to be clean or overdriven, whilst in the dual vocals rage and despair battle against clarity and hope.
“Love & Light” is a song of duality: making a mistake and regretting it, but being unable to stop the destructive behaviour.
“The little birdie [in the lyrics] is a reference to the world’s habitats, which are being destroyed by the hands of humans all the time,” explains lyricist and bassist, Josh Sumner. “The bird also represents something within us all: an innocence that is inevitably destroyed through our own actions, like existing in a declining state that’s made worse by abusing drugs or alcohol, etc.
“We know how bad things are but we still engage in it – going out and drinking too much, staying up late playing video games, or arguing with our friends in kitchens. All these moments and choices get weirder and more problematic over time, but we still do them.”
The band have always been heavily politically influenced; they were described in the past as ‘a latter-day Propagandhi with a Manchester accent’. Relating personal experience with the environmental crisis is a step forward for the band and a clarion call for change.
Since the success of Leopards in 2018, Fair Do’s played a packed-out headline tour in Japan, supported the likes of Lagwagon and Cigar, played on the biggest stage at Manchester Punk Festival, and made jaunts to Germany, Italy and Slovenia.
This release is the bands’ second in North America with Thousand Islands Records (CA), and a continued relationship with Lockjaw Records (UK).
The COVID-19 pandemic stalled their live plans for 2020, but the break from touring has granted more practice and writing time – vocalist Danny Cummings has gained a new, catchier strain to his vocal, and he and lead guitarist Dave Speechley have added even more technical chops to their six-string skills.
The band’s new music reflects the frustration and hopelessness of the working-class left-wing in the past five years, existing in the time of Boris, Brexit and COVID-19. Fair Do’s have been writing and recording in isolation, during the bleak winter lockdowns, creating an improved, heavier, tighter sound out of a disquieting experience.
18 Sept – Outpost Liverpool w/Grand Collapse
21 Sept – Redrum Stafford w/Grand Collapse
10 Oct – Bread Shed Manchester w/Roughneck Riot & Drones
Fair Do’s are a powerhouse of technical melodic hardcore, who combine hardcore punk and metal in a way that few other bands dare.
Fair Do’s spent their formative years hammering their distinctive fast-punk style home, however, they’ve also invested considerable time honing their metal chops, evident in their heavier rhythms, riffs and plentiful beat-downs.
Formed in 2008, Fair Do’s have established a following of dedicated fans around Europe, playing with legends like Lagwagon, A Wilhelm Scream, Frenzal Rhomb and H20. Having grown up in small working-class towns around Manchester, they have an underdog mentality that resonates in their lyrics, which are both politically focussed and firmly tongue-in-cheek.
Although they are driven by a strong DIY punk ethos, Fair Do’s are best known for their technical talent. Every song is heart-racingly uptempo and overlaid with jaw-droppingly intricate guitars.
They released their debut album Leopards on Lockjaw Records in 2018 – an adrenaline-soaked collision of hardcore punk and metal, that captures the energy and technical prowess of their explosive live show. Their earliest release Trying Times was released on Pumpkin Records in 2014 and remains a firm favourite of skate-punk fans.
Fair Do’s will be releasing a string of singles to tease fans in 2021, demonstrating the development of their sound into a heavier, richer mix. Dipping their toe into heavier and darker waters, Casket is the introduction to the mature Fair Do’s sound. It is every bit as technical as their fans would expect, but with a hardened edge brought about by the political battering the left-wing has seen since their last release in 2018.