Inside The Prince Albert, the dingy upper room blooms with piercing natural light ahead of FEWS‘ set; the day’s last rays creeping through an unblocked window and dispelling the eldritch atmosphere. The temperature has been stifling in Brighton all week and tonight is no exception, a layer of sweat veiling each and every forehead in the venue before this evening’s headliners even pluck a single echo-laden note.
Just like the sweltering weather in the sloping street outside, FEWS are scintillating – their live show no less frenetic as a result of the already clammy conditions. The Swedish / US quartet, fresh on the back of releasing their Dan Carey-produced debut album ‘Means’, open with the rip-roaring ‘100 Goosebumps’, its gloriously noisy combo of pinging Bloc Party-like guitar lines and fast-shuffling drums ricocheting around the walls. The curtain-raiser is their jaw-slackening standout along with ‘The Zoo’, a tune that also exhilarates the crowd due to its feverish delivery. At its raucous climax of chiming licks and hollered vocals, the band’s hyperactive movement is irresistibly contagious.
Although if you’re looking for a track that encapsulates FEWS‘ prowess, closer ‘ILL’ is just that. Like the meeting point between DIIV, Girl Band and TOY, it never fails to floor an audience, and its mechanical metronomic beat, brooding Joy Division-ish riff and breathtaking build up is akin only to a white-knuckle ride tonight. The best damn white-knuckle ride you’ve ever been on.