Sam Brace – Fever And Bones

Sam Brace - Fever And Bones - album cover

If you’ve heard of Sam Brace up to this point it’s likely due to his role as guitarist for folk punk outfit Skinny Lister but now, with the band’s touring having been on hiatus for the obvious reasons over the last couple of years, he’s found the time to put out a solo album, with a rather different feel, Fever & Bones.

During the various lockdowns (and what with one thing and another) over the last couple of years Brace reconnected with old school friend, and now Guernsey resident, Adam Tarry and the pair shared ideas ideas which, as time went on, coalesced into this collection of 11 tracks which Sam recorded along with Thom Mills on drums and Toby Lovat on bass.

From the off it’s clear things here are rather different to Sam’s musical ‘day job’ as we are plunged into a world of post-grunge indie with hints of modern arena rock and a punk edge.

Sam Brace and Adam Tarry
Sam Brace and Adam Tarry

Opener and third single from the set, Partly Coded, sets the tone for this with a sound that wouldn’t be out of place coming from the Foo Fighters but with something of a more meaningful edge than anything they’ve released in some time.

Along with that, across the record, comes the feel of something that seems to be a particular trait of much British indie music in that it has a basis of an acoustic guitar track throughout, showing these are songs that would have the rare ability to work everywhere from an intimate solo performance to the biggest of arena stages.

Being somewhat of a veteran of the touring scene there is also a maturity to the subjects being tackled and the way they are handled, which has echoes of Frank Turner’s more recent output, combining an evidently still present vitality with a more developed outlook on the world than pop often manages to offer.

Sam Brace
Sam Brace

Elsewhere across the record there are hints of everyone from The Cure to Radiohead and upbeat, summery power such as on Brave to the thoughtfulness of lead single Panic to slower and more acoustic sounding numbers like Fine Adjustments.

Year Of Punk meanwhile is a fine stomper of a tune with a terrific sense of optimism wrapped in a powerful package that I would love to hear blasting from a festival stage.

Fever & Bones then is a great record combining familiar sounds in new ways with a lot to offer both on initial listen and on subsequent re-listens as the lyrics reveal extra depths to the songs and, while this currently seems to be a ‘studio project’, there’s plenty here that I’d love to hear with the added extra of a live setting, which is always a good sign.

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