When fresh, new bands are as instantly prolific as Brighton’s Fear of Men, usually by the time an album deal is signed, that glut of early limited singles and b-sides that made you fall in the love with them in the first place is long gone. Their debut comes out and it’s already fighting against what went before. ‘Early Fragments’ – the band’s own museum piece; a compendium of sweet, miserable indie twee previously pressed to 7-inch vinyl and tapes by various micro labels who love them – is therefore a great bullet dodge. Rather than showing a vast progression in a jangling pop band that started as an art degree project, it demonstrates Fear of Men’s impressive consistency and how compelling their Smiths-meet-Echobelly glib songs were from the off, with the super early ‘Ritual Confession’ a standout in this nostalgic parade of doomed romanticism.

Read all of our new album reviews here, in this month’s Loud And Quiet

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