Power Play Magazine Edition 172 - Bee Wilby
Could it be that London based band The Fuse's naming of their new album after an epic WW2 battle (El Alamein) means that they are planning on it being as pivotal to the music scene as the battle was to the allies? It seems likely, as there is no shortage of big numbers being well executed on this ten-song ensemble.
The band, which has toured with the prodigious Foreigner and the likes of UB40, has been going for more than eight years, with singer Alex Lato, Simon Bowker (Electric Guitar) Ed Thorne (drums) and SJW (Bass Guitar) putting together a sound that is unique yet extremely contemporary and catchy.
'Alamein' was produced by Javier Weyler (The Stereophonics) and is filled with drum-laden rhythms, body bopping and congenial melodies that signify The Fuse is ready for the world stage. Lato's vocals are worthy, especially on the high notes and falsetto.
The greatest songs are those that take the listener on a journey and the lyrics on this album do just that, in the main, especially on track ten, 'In This World,' where Lato shows off his voice, sounding somewhat like Christ Martin, and where the soft melodic start builds into a fantastic crescendo towards the end of the third minute. Hit songs to keep a watch on are 'Oxygen', 'Sleuth' and 'White Shark', which is likely to go down well at festivals with its great beats and psychedelic/electronic effect.
8 Power Points
Ring Master Review - 5th August 2008
It is fair to say that the journey to the release of Alamein, and that of its creators The Fuse themselves, has been a platform of trials and issues to which many other bands would have probably thrown the towel in over long ago. Eight years on the UK rock scene has seen the band suffer member instability and changes, label collapses, and their manager struck down with cancer. The band’s new album in the thoughts of many was destined to never see the light of day, but with an attitude matching and title seemingly inspired by the Winston Churchill quote, ‘Before Alamein, we never had a victory. After Alamein, we never had a defeat’, the London band’s offering is ready to captivate grip ears.
Formed in 2006, The Fuse soon began enticing ears and interest for their alternative/indie rock sound, and within a year they was heading over to LA to record their debut album after Russ Regan, who discovered and signed Elton John, had heard their single Everybody Knows The Way and signed the band up. In the financial crisis of 2008 though, his Velocity Entertainment went bust leaving no release ready and the band returning to their home city. Back in England, The Fuse continued to lure attention and support with their shows, especially after playing one with Coldplay cover band Coldplace. This triggered more gigs around the UK and in 2010, a tour of Holland supporting Coldplace as well as the sharing of a stage with UB40 and numerous festival spots. More tours and shows in Europe were followed in 2012 by the band headlining the Pembrokeshire Fish Week Festival and Richmond World Music Festival, and the next year playing a couple of shows with Foreigner. Now the quartet of Alex Lato, Simon Bowker, Ed Thorne, and Simon James White have their first album on the launch pad, an fair to say, the Javier Weyler (ex-Stereophonics) produced album reveals a collection of songs which just grab the imagination.
CD_CBwallet_The Fuse_12_06_2015_RingMaster ReviewAlamein opens with the outstanding Black Lion, a song tantalising with almost tribal enticing from its first breath and a cascade of harmonic vocal roars, which in turn sparks a seductive stroll of meaty rhythms and tangy grooves. The song is soon strolling with a swagger and mischievous enterprise, drums and bass a prowling shadow against the bright temptation of the guitars and quickly alluring vocals. The full result is a contagious and increasingly compelling romp inventively setting the album off on a major high and setting a lofty bar for the following Misfit to match. It is a test quickly passed as an electro shimmer of an entrance evolves into a dark Stan Ridgway like pop canter, the track proceeding to flirt with spicy hooks and sparkling melodies over another tenaciously rhythmic adventure. Its colourful mix of sound is matched by a great variety of vocals across the band too, their unions a festival of creative revelry around a lively reflective narrative.
Oxygen steps up next, treating ears to a post punk bass line and matching ambience before the vocals, with melodies in tow, awaken a ray of energy and warmth. As in the first pair of songs, imagination is soon adding little twists of sound and character to the engaging and increasingly emotionally inflamed proposition. Feet and appetite are simply bewitched by the track and indeed Sleuth which shares its resourceful vivacity next. Inside once more contrasts unite, the snarl of the bass and punch of drums tempering but more so complimenting the bubbling keys and vocal vibrancy, it all bound in fiery guitar endeavour. It is a fresh breath of drama and aural heat which is continued through the mellower White Shark and the elegant croon of Rainbows. Neither song quite spark personals tastes as strikingly as their predecessors to be honest, but each, and especially the increasingly rousing latter, grows into a potent and provocative blossom of sound and persuasion.
A twangy tone of guitar quickly makes 3AM an inviting proposal, the song growing with every passing chord into a magnetic blaze, still cored by that great initial bait and increasingly breeding a catchiness which lingers long after its boisterous departure. There are many tracks which wear single on their temptation, this certainly amongst them as too Paint This Town which actually has already had that position and unsurprisingly drawn a great many newcomers to The Fuse. Bounding in on a Blondie-esque dance of melodic flirting, the song swiftly builds its own distinct, infection soaked incitement for body and emotions. Its body of hooks and pop leaded tenacity has the musical shine of bands like Super Happy Fun Club and at times The Killers, whilst providing another pinnacle for Alamein.
The album closes with firstly the emotive and melodic smouldering of Phantom, a song which suggests that Coldplay is certainly amongst the band’s inspirations, and lastly In This World. The final song opens with a Lennon-esque tone to vocals and piano, subsequently growing into another of the slow burning persuasions on the release which builds into a richly satisfying theatre of sound and emotion which finds a potent resemblance to Queen like adventure.
Both songs offer an enjoyable end to a highly pleasing album and long last, proper introduction for the world to The Fuse. There is no doubting their journey to now has been worthwhile and creatively well spent, Alamein emerging as a very rosy addition to the melodic/indie rock discography of 2015.
The Rock Club - 10/11
Rock, Pathos and Poetry, delivered with Churchillian values......
Eight years since formation and The Fuse could be forgiven for running out of passion for the business but, in true rock tradition, they have defied the odds and produced an album of wise reflection and insight into the frustrations of the music industry.
Singer Alex Lato is a man so passionate about his work that the band's website is an encyclopaedic collection of musings and thoughts on why, where and when every track on the record was conceived and subsequently dragged screaming into the public domain on their many tour dates. This band have toured extensively, supporting acts such as Foreigner, UB40 and even with rock's new kids on the blocks, EofE.
'Alamein' is an affirmation that all their hard work has paid off, all eleven tracks have been fully road tested and, in the main, have been chosen by the fans themselves. The band have created their PEFF (panel of elite Fuse fans) fans forum on their media sites to allow direct feedback from fans, and critics, in a bold move that will see all the songs released on Soundcloud in July ahead of the September album release date to enable the public in general to vote with their ears.
The album carries two versions of their Roman anthem 'Black Lion', a live favourite. 'Sleuth' is my top track, but feel that either 'Paint this Town' or 'Phantom' will win the the fans vote for first single. One nugget is the track 'White Shark' which seems to harp back to the 70’s and has more than a passing resemblance to Sparks (now teamed up with Franz Ferdinand).
Overall a great album and a testament to one of the hardest working bands around.
A favourite quote of Alex is Churchill’s “Before Alamein we never had a victory. After Alamein, we never had a defeat”. A metaphor and the reason behind the album's title, no doubt.
The Fuse are: Alex Lato, Simon Bowker, Ed Thorne & Simon James White
released September 18, 2015
Alamein Album Credits
© The Fuse 2015 All Rights Reserved
Produced by The Fuse
Additional Production by Javier Weyler
Mixed by Javier Weyler
Mix Assistant: Fran Telleria
Mastered by Dick Beetham at 360 Mastering
Drums engineered by Javier Weyler at Beat Factory Studios
Guitars engineered by Simon Bowker at Studio Bowker
Vocals engineered by Alex Lato at Studio Lato & Windowless Cube Studio
Bass recorded by George Shilling at Bank Cottage Studio
Extra Strings on In This World arranged and recorded by Mike Jennings
Artwork Execution: Fran Telleria
Artwork Direction and Photography: Alex Lato
Promotion: Rob Saunders at Deuce Management and Promotion
Management: Alex Lato
Lyrics: Alex Lato
Black Lion (Bowker, Lato, Thorne, White)
Misfit (Thorne, Lato, Bowker, White)
Oxygen (Bowker, Lato, Blair, Varnava, Dugdale)
Sleuth (Thorne, Lato, White, Bowker)
White Shark (ThornEEEE, Lato, Bowker)
Rainbows (Lato, White, Bowker, Thorne)
3AM (Varnava, Blair, Bowker, Lato, Dugdale)
Paint This Town (Blair, Lato, Bowker, Dugdale, Varnava)
Phantom (Bowker, Lato, Blair, Varnava, Dugdale)
In This World (Lato, Bowker, White, Thorne)
Vocals, Backing Vocals : Alex Lato (@alexlato)
Guitars: Simon Bowker (@simon_bowker)
Drums, Backing Vocals: Ed Thorne (@theedthorne)
Bass, Backing Vocals: Simon James White (@sjwrocks)
The Fuse would like to thank:
John and Daphne Cawthorne for making the record possible.
The graffiti artists at Pescara Fruit and Veg market for their beautiful murals.
The Panel Of Elite Fuse Fans
All our wonderful twitter fans who RT and FV our tweets.
For info, tour dates, fan club and more, go to:
all rights reserved