What is most notable about Fiction’s live set is their technical talents. Among other things, they don’t have a drummer; James (keyboard) and Mike (guitar) alternate between vocals and drumming while Nick does lead guitar duties and Dan grounds things with hefty, glowing bass lines. They execute their super-slick, edgy guitar-based pop with impressive focus and attention to detail, nimble guitar plinks fuzzed just so by surf reverb, synth tolls ringing precisely and the writing is all artfully layered sounds and unhinged lyrics. ‘Big Things’, for example, is a shoegaze videogame soundtrack of a tune, with a funky, sauntering bassline and a playful, chiming Casio melody garnished with Echo and the Bunnymen-esque vocals – sharp, yet eased by slack-jawed delivery, smoothly blurting, “Big. Things. Giant things. Sinking with gravity…” ‘Zebra Crossing’ comes over far more sinister, all arch synth parps and guitar jabs. This is a gifted group of musicians and it’s a wonder one doesn’t seem to leave with any of their finely crafted tunes fused to one’s mind, but this isn’t ordinary Velcro pop, it’s not that simple. It is, however, music with ideas and talent and therein lies potential. Fiction have all of the above, in spades.
By Polly Rappaport
Originally published in issue 13 (vol 3) of Loud And Quiet. December 2009