We'll Be the Moon

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Having reeled off a list of eclectic influences ranging from Brian Wilson to the Cocteau Twins to '90s dance music, Oxford psychedelic pop quintet Fixers could be seen as just another band trying to sound more intriguing than they actually are. But as their debut album, We'll Be the Moon, proves, their claims of being inspired by such a diverse array of artists isn't just hollow talk. There are sun-kissed Beach Boys harmonies alongside the squalling guitars and pounding indie rock beats of the grandiose "Crystals"; "Majesties" combines the reverb-drenched dream pop of Liz Fraser and company with the raucous Southern rock of Kings of Leon; while the surging indie disco of "Iron Deer Dream" contains a piano riff plucked straight from the Italo house rulebook. Aided by Nathaniel Lennox Jr.'s avant-garde production, it's an ambitious affair that offers something new with each listen, but occasionally it collapses under the weight of its own experimentation, as on the meandering space rock of "Amsterdam" and the chaotic "Pink Light." Ironically, for an album bursting with left-field ideas, it's when Fixers keep things simple that they begin to live up to the hype that's surrounded them since their 2009 incarnation, particularly "Swimmhaus Johannesburg," a retro synth pop pastiche that blends Duran Duran-esque melodies with a classic acid house hook, and "Floating Up," a shimmering slice of new wave indie that comes complete with an utterly infectious chant-led chorus. Lurching from the acid rock of the '60s to the excesses of '80s stadium pop to the contemporary hipster indie scene, We'll Be the Moon doesn't always hit the mark, but it's an encouraging first offering proving that Fixers can walk the walk as well as they talk the talk.