The Leeds DIY scene is certainly alive and well, capably churning out a succession of innovative and compelling acts such as Eagulls and Autobahn, with Hookworms adorned as the jewel in the crown.
Since 2016, a new proposition has been rippling away, quietly readying themselves for propulsion into the spotlight. FEHM are a post-punk five-piece, who have released a duo of EPs with the latest arriving in October of 2017. After amassing significant notice with these releases, the band have simultaneously been gathering a reputation for possessing the most aggressive and dynamic live performances on the circuit. They are currently camped out in a recording studio, citing a release date of later this year for their debut album. Fresh from a rousing performance at Bluedot festival in Cheshire, the band have released new material.
If their sophomore EP Human Age was a dabble into the addition of electronics to their post-punk sound, ‘Scarborough Warning’ is a full frontal dive-bomb. Sweeping synthesisers and melodic hooks ignite the song, expanding from the allusion found on their previous tracks and placing it bang on front and centre. The addition of lead singer Paul Riddle’s distinguishing vocals and signature driving basslines preserve their abrasive edge creating a satisfyingly juxtaposed sound. A monstrous chorus backed up by harmonies from bassist Amy Fishlock further strengthens the track, and it’s clear to see this will both be stuck in my head for the rest of the week and a fan favourite at live shows.
After the certified synthesiser soiree of ‘Scarborough Warning’, the band seem keen to show a more introspective side on ‘The Sea To Come.’ The track takes a softer approach, with a wistful guitar melody and floaty bassline taking the place of their previously abrasive sound. Whilst no less distinctive, Riddle’s vocals are decidedly more longing, and this coupled with the softened melodies creates an alluring sense of romanticism within the track.
Taken together, they sound like a soundtrack submission to a popular Netflix series about a fictional town plagued by otherworldly beings, upside-downy places and 80s tropes (let me be clear and state this is no bad thing). Comparing this release with their aforementioned EPs, the ambition and intended trajectory of this band become increasingly apparent. With the release of their debut album later this year, it’s certainly set to propel them from peripheral members of a local scene to front and centre contenders for a wider audience.