The Fauves are one of Australia's most underrated bands, playing their own brand of guitar pop featuring wry, humorous lyrics, much in the style of fellow Australian band TISM, but infinitely more subtle.
The Fauves formed in Melbourne, Australia in 1988, and comprised of four school friends: Andrew Dyer, Adam Newey, Andrew Cox and Phil Leonard. They took their name from the short-lived art movement in the early 1900s (fauve" being the French word for "wild animal").
In 1989, they released their first EP: This Mood Has Passed. Two years later they followed it with The Scissors Within EP, and in 1992, the Tight White Ballhugger EP appeared. All of these EPs gained the Fauves critical acclaim, but commercial success eluded the band, and they remained an act with a cult following only.
Drive Through Charisma, the band's debut full-length album, was released in 1993. Greeted with good reviews, the album failed to make an impact, despite generating the two minor alternative singles "Thin Body, Thin Body" and "Marble Arse."
In 1994, The Young Need Discipline appeared, and it was with extensive touring (including support slots for the Australian tours of Throwing Muses and Live), that the Fauves began to experience the commercial recognition they deserved. The Young Need Discipline was filled with memorable songs, and witty, intelligent lyrics, and produced two alternative hits: the brilliant "Caesar's Surrender" and the melodic "Dwarf on Dwarf."
With this new-found success, the Fauves began to let their sense of humor become more evident in their work, and in 1995 they released the Everybody's Getting a Three Piece Together EP. Fortunately, however, the band never let their humor become more important than their songwriting, and they continued to produce excellent guitar pop.
Cementing their status as one of Australia's best bands, their third full-length album, Future Spa, was released in 1996. Again, it was greeted with critical praise and was also supported by Australian radio, largely due to the release of three excellent singles from the album: "Dogs are the Best People," "Self Abuser," and "Don't Get Death Threats Anymore." The album also featured a hidden track: a recording of a police interview with two Fauve members following their arrest for possession of marijuana.
In 1998, The Fauves released Lazy Highway, another album of classic guitar pop; it was not as successful as Future Spa, but it still generated two alternative singles: "The Charles Atlas Way" and the Beach Boys-inspired "Surf City Limits."