Artist: The New Fools
Album: 'VANILLE' Released May 2022
Reviewed by: JOHN WELSH (INTO-CREATIVE)
The new album from Cambridge band The New Fools literally stopped me in my tracks. The band have been playing for a few years, their debut album landing in 2019 and a steady flow of releases since but it’s with Vanille that the band have taken their sound to a new level.
There are eight perfectly formed tracks here and from opener New Fools through to the closing And Campfire Song, the quality simply does not abate.
The album was recorded at Half Ton Studios in Milton, Cambridge and the production is polished enough to provide a solid sound experience but also retaining an edge that draws you in, play it loud! The five piece band were also augmented on the album with three other musicians who added trumpet, sax and e-bow amongst others and those little additions really help the songs shine, Better Days being a prime example, the brass really propelling the track.
Elsewhere, I Found You is a belter, an infectious, upbeat song with mod/punk hints. An absolute earworm. Of course, every band worth their salt should have a self titled track and New Fools ticks that box, vocally reminiscent of Bowie with that brass sound again put to good use.
Aside from the music, the lyrical content is spot on, particularly on Nobody’s Business But Mine and If Things Don’t Change where Tony Jenkins’s vocals bite and don’t leave any prisoners. On the latter, the music is relaxed, languid and Tony’s vocal delivered in a very matter of fact way which really adds to the message conveyed in the lyrics.
Samantha Sits leans to a more structured, layered song with a 60s era Merseybeat sound, what’s not to like? The closing And Campfire Song gives that upbeat feel again, a perfect closer to what is a truly magnificent album. The New Fools don’t hide their influences here (Merseybeat, 60s, Vic Godard, mod) but importantly they have their own sound and it all adds up to a truly great album (which also comes with a bonus CD too).