No beating around the bush here; what The losing fight, the latest release by Montreal natives Faults most closely resembles is Converge. (Yes I know it’s a title, but they didn’t capitalize where they were supposed to. What do you want from me?) Now you’re probably thinking, “OMG I love Converge! I should totally give this a listen!” That’s totally fair and you should, but be aware of a few things.
First, this is not as tight as a Converge record. There’s a lot of fuzz (we’ll come back to that in a bit) which actually covers up some of the missed punches, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t there. And the thing is that they attempt some complicated stuff here which is commendable…but it sounds better when it’s tight, you know?
Second, this is more melodic than a Converge record, but it doesn’t seem like it wants to be. Especially when it comes to the guitar playing, there are a lot of harmonies and general interplay that get buried under all the fuzz.
Third, have I mentioned the fuzz? It’s all up in this thing like a bomb went off and there’s a hostage situation. (I’ll take my Pulitzer now.) The thing that Converge has really learned how to do is to lay the fuzz on when the moment is particularly gnarly and let up when the songs need to breathe. That doesn’t really happen here.
The ideas on this thing are really good. There are some cool vocal passages with effects that resemble what would have been used by Korn or In Flames. (Mid-career. You know, the American-sounding stuff.) And there are some cool shoegaze moments to go along with the vocals, like on “Pushing Poison.” (That mid-career In Flames sound pops up here, too.) The composition is pretty top notch, and the rhythms switch up enough to be more than moderately interesting. It’s just that so much of it gets lost under the fuzz (and the more-than-occasional missed punch). (I used parentheses too many times in this review to emphasize what too much fuzz sounds like for your eyes.)
Written by Syd Ghan
*edited by Kate Erickson