|Commentary and photography by Jeff Rey
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|On a scene that’s progressively being dominated by (read "glutted with") bands acknowledged to be influenced by at best mediocre, though successful (read "commercial") sources, The Fashion have managed to set themselves apart. Though they’ve been compared to the Velvet Underground and other 60s underground groups as well as Joy Division and The Libertines, and we've likened their jangly rhythms to The Strokes, they just don’t sound like anyone else.
Taking a side-step away from familiar pop territory doesn’t make them a particularly easy first listen. So, like a smokey and obscure yet fine wine, their sound may be kind of an acquired taste. Live, when it starts out the music is minimalist to the point of being sparse, and within a song they'll appear to be stumbling to find its elusive central thread. And when frontman Jessie Davis goes to the keyboard it first sounds like he’s simply tinkering with random notes, searching for a riff. Jacob Bills often seems to be doing the same with his guitar. Sounds pretty loose, no? Ah, but like that obscure wine there’s a payoff.
|They may call themselves The Fashion, but they have little inclination or need to follow the latest trend|
|We learned the term “less is more” back in art class, right? The Fashion serve as a prime example of how it works. The dots do get connected – eventually. There is indeed a riff hiding in there, but you probably won’t know it until it comes back later in a song to smack you up side of the skull. At the risk of getting too heady here, it all isn’t that different from how classical music will toy with you (early Mozart comes to mind) before delivering the goods. But that artful aesthetic doesn’t mean you can’t shake your butt to this band. Au contraire. As dedicated followers of The Fashion know (and the number seems to be expanding significantly with each new show ) Davis is a compelling vocalist. The off-hand yet at the same time intimate lyrics play like dramatic, personal conversations. And backed up by drummer Daniel Boivin, bassist Darryl Specht and Bills’ staccato guitar rhythms, The Fashion are a rock band and an exciting one. One look at those crazed dancers who are always up front of the stage will tell you that. But The Fashion may make you wait just a bit before getting you off. And well, isn’t that the beauty of all acquired tastes?
As of press time, The Fashion had just finished work on a new EP with the five songs on Lovely and Guilt Free produced by Jason Marcus of Mugshot Records. We haven’t heard the results yet, but have been hearing the new songs over the past few live shows. Especially impressive is “Don’t Act This Way” that sets an infectious groove that borders on Disco but is definitely NYC street beat.