Instrumental albums often have a bad rap in our fast-paced society filled with catchy tunes and meaningless lyrics. Fear of Noise‘s debut EP Cockroachia proves that an instrumental album can be entertaining and even get you banging your head.
Its opening track, “Cockroaches”, starts off really loud and progresses into a psychedelic ballad comparable to Pink Floyd. It combines heavy metal with a very trippy guitar riff and a grunge-style undertone. The track even includes a small element of surprise; in the middle of the song, someone shouts the word “cockroachia”, the only word to be uttered throughout the entire album.
“Writing Backwards” is slightly more repetitive, and is a catchier track that holds more to the psychedelic rock theme than to that of heavy metal. It, too, was a track that resembles those of Pink Floyd.
“Malaria” is absolutely hypnotic and captivating. It is without question the best song on the album. The beginning sounds like the best music of the 60s, drowning the listener in a pleasant trance-like state. It is repetitive at first, but changes tune in the middle where it starts to sound more like early 70s rock, almost as if it belongs on The Who’s Quadrophenia. Its drum beat, combined with the guitar, is almost dizzying and quite unsettling, yet it somehow manages to be enjoyable. Towards the end, the track speeds up with urgency and leaves you with a confused and satisfied feeling that will not soon be forgotten.
To close off the album, “Explicit Locomotive” has a typical classic rock sound at first, but then builds up into a unique and urgent, almost terrifying sound. For the first half of the song, you are sure to be filled with a sense of panic, as though someone is chasing you. Towards the end, though, it slows down ever so slightly, and the final chord is drawn out, leaving you completely relaxed somehow.
This Vancouver-based band’s album is for anyone who wants their music to take them to psychological places they rarely get to visit. It is the music world’s equivalent of a very good thriller movie, something that will have your heart racing, your palms sweating, and you wanting to come back for more.
Written by Franca G. Mignacca