Like many, my first introduction to Fiction came via a Ford advertisement, soundtracked by the single 'Big Things'. It was so stunning I immediately had to find out the name of the track – it sounded like something from the halcyon days of New York Punk so my instinct was to look at the bands from the ‘CBGB scene’. After much Googling, to my pleasant surprise it was not only a recent track but also from a new British band.
'Big Things' was released back in 2010 so the group have taken their time over the release of their debut album 'The Big Other', especially in comparison to the gestation periods of eponymous records these days which are released as quickly as possible to take advantage of the initial hype. In this case, it’s paid off as the album is a fully formed record which reveals new details the deeper you delve.
Although recent singles 'Museum' and 'Careful' don’t quite reach the heights of 'Big Things', they are both splendid in their own right. 'Museum' is the most danceable track on the record, with its shuffling rhythms and jerky guitar lines, while 'Careful' has a claustrophobic feel, largely a result of its strange, disorientating synth lines that contrasts impressively with the vocals, which sound almost angelic in parts.
The record does slightly lose its focus in the middle of the album. While the likes of 'See Me Walk' and 'Be Clear' are intriguing, they don’t make any significant impression. However, 'Vertigo In Bed' regains the momentum built by the first third of the record, which features a pretty chorus that echoes the romance of Orange Juice.
To their credit, Fiction are also not afraid to showcase their intellectualism, demonstrated by the closing track 'The Apple'. It is a heartfelt tribute to Alan Turing, the legendary code-breaker, which features a fine, swooning chorus.
'The Big Other' is a fine, thoughtful debut that sees the group well primed to join the art-rock lineage of Franz Ferdinand, Roxy Music and Josef K. In one of their recent live shows, Fiction played a couple of new songs which sound very promising and the band have said they are ‘already quite deep’ into writing their second album. Hopefully then it’s not such a similarly long wait to hear what these sonic boffins have conjured up for their next album.
'The Big Other' is out today, and available to purchase from amazon.co.uk.