Chased By Wolves is the follow up album to Flight Brigades 2016 debut album Our Friends Our Enemies and will hit the shelves and the digital platforms on 13th September on Rebel Cinema Records via Wixen Music Publishing.
Recorded at Visconti Studios in Kingston by esteemed producer Chris Porter who has worked with mega stars George Michael, Elton John and David Bowie it is an album about coming together in the face of adversity. Described as a positive record that looks to see what’s possible, finding strength, joy and resilience from human kindness and in that way attempting to overcome that sometimes powerless feeling, the lyrical content is inspired by personal experiences and life stories from those close to the band.[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JS1keic1jJk&w=560&h=315]
Opening track Heartbreaker is a fine slab of 80’s influenced keyboard based pop music, written about two friends who managed to keep their marriage together despite the infidelity of one partner. Chased By Wolves, the albums title track, which is about the “shark infested waters” of the music business and how it nearly tore the band apart is another 80’s pop influenced track. Full of harmony and melody it has a catchy and infectious beat that will get your feet tapping at will.
Tinderbox, written about arguments and reconciliation within relationships has an almost dance feel to it behind a wonderfully atmospheric chorus which gives the song an upbeat yet haunting feel. Fury Road is the first track that you really hear some ‘rock’ guitar on. Another synth/keys laden track it builds superbly with some great time and tempo changes and is one of the standout tracks on the album, which it deserves to be as it was written about the fragility of relationships and the brevity of life after attending a funeral. A really sumptuous piece of music that captures your heart and soul as you listen to every eloquently written and sung word.
Sirens is another tantalising and haunting song. The lyrics drag you in to feel the pain of the songs subject and it at times has an almost heavenly feel to it. You really get the full feel of listening to this through a set of headphones with your eyes closed so you don’t get distracted. Stranger Things about the mad world we live in is another track with an 80’s vibe to it built on a wall of massive synths and keys. Where Eagles Dare covers the bands own struggles and obstacles they faced to keep going and making music and comes complete with a teasing guitar solo that is sandwiched inside another keyboard laden indie pop/rock track.
Brainwave is without doubt the most emotional track on the album as it covers Ollie Baines brothers life of living with epilepsy and his own description of the seizures he suffered. Since writing the track, Ollie’s brother Seth has passed away from brain cancer and the band have dedicated the album to his memory. It is another 3 ½ minutes of classy indie pop full of heavy synths but with a cracking guitar riff running through it that makes it one of the beefier tracks on the album.[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6sakHMEmqlU&w=560&h=315]
Alligators is Thomas Pink, the bands guitarists tribute to his veteran grandfather and the horrors he witnessed in WWII. It kicks in with a bombastic snyth intro that grabs your ears straight away before another enchanting vocal performance from Ollie that is made all the more mesmerising when Miriam Baines adds her voice to it to give it another truly haunting feel. The track has a real epic feel to it with it’s swaying tempo changes and the way the it builds you up and then lets you go again, before reaching a resounding crescendo that leaves you wanting more as the song draws to a close.
The penultimate track, How Your River Runs Through Me, based on Cormac McCarthey’s novel “The Road” in a quirky kind of way reminds me one of those great ballads that Queen used to write that is all about the vocal part with the band playing out in the most minimalistic way behind. Once again we get the joyous dual vocals of Ollie and Miriam whose voices sound just sublime together and add a warmth to the track that for me personally make this my favourite track on the album. It is captivating, spellbinding and such a glorious piece of music that I just never saw coming. Creature, a love song written around the bands shared love of Tolkein ends the album and has a mystical Middle Earth feel to it.
What I would say about Chased By Wolves is that it is definitely an album that grows on you. The more and more I have listened to it the more I have found myself moved by the lyrics and drawn in by the vocal harmonies which add a level of warmth to what is a truly eclectic indie pop/rock album that took me so far away from my comfort zone where music is concerned. This is an album laden with hooks and melodies, full of dazzling keyboard and synths and interspersed with some wonderful guitar parts. It is a unique sound and at times it is completely infectious. There is pop, there is rock, there is mystically haunting moments. I am sure for most people, there is a place in their music collection and their lives for a bit of Fire Brigade.
The band are undertaking a 14 date UK tour in October to support the albums release which starts at Manchester Retro on October 3rd and finishes at The Star Inn, Guildford on October 26th. Go to www.flightbrigade.com to see all the dates and venues, book tickets and order your copy of the album.
Album track listing
- Chased By Wolves
- Fury Road
- Stranger Things
- Where Eagles Dare
- How Your River Runs Through Me
Ollie Baines – Guitars and Vocals
Miriam Baines – Synths and Vocals
Dorry Macauley – Violin and Vocals
Tom Clay – Bass
Thomas Pink – Guitar
Neil Blandford – Drums
Jonny Barker – Keyboards
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Twitter – @flightbrigadehq
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Website – www.flightbrigde.com
Review by Darren Smith