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That Noble Fury | That Noble Fury

album review by Katrina Kass

That Noble Fury | That Noble Fury

That Noble Fury’s self-titled album is a strong debut that feels simultaneously raw and polished. Band members Anthony Blaha and Tom Fellows combine a variety of styles—everything from rock to pop to classical to funk.

Even the lyrics on this album are far from straight forward. For many of the tracks, the vocals initially tend to wash over the listener without revealing their stories too quickly. Words and melodies meld together. You have to take apart each song like a puzzle and then put the pieces back together again before you can really start to hear the true meanings of the lyrics. Even some of the songs with more traditional themes, like “My Elephant” and “License to Kiss”, are filled with hidden meanings that lend themselves to a range of interpretations.

Some bands tend to use instruments as accompaniment and let their vocals take center stage. That Noble Fury is not one of them. The instrumental elements are just as important as the vocals. At times, they stand completely alone, almost eliminating the need for any words at all. Piano, guitars, violins, and a variety of other instruments all play a part in creating the mood, setting, and life of this album.

One track is particularly notable for its instrumental virtuosity; “Cadenza” consists of no more than a solo violin, but nothing else is needed and it provides the perfect lead in to “Matador”.

That Noble Fury does not shy away from showing off their range. “Stars and Stars” is little more than a guy and his guitar. It is simple and unfussy, providing a mellow reprieve from some of the craziness that can be found elsewhere on the album.

And then there is “Nice to See You Alive”, a seven-and-a-half minute extravaganza of insanity. But it never gets out of hand. With its changing tempos and dynamics, it exemplifies That Noble Fury’s talent for taking the schizophrenic energy of youth and arranging it with the masterful expertise that can only come from experience. The roadmap of this song is difficult to grasp. But if you don’t mind getting lost for a little while, it is a fun journey to hear unfold.

One track leads to another to guide you on a journey that is anything but boring. From the excitement of “Parachute Jumper” to the melancholy of “In California” to the haunt of “Sail On”, this album is a dynamic offering filled with plenty of surprises to discover.

Bottom line: Many genres and instruments create controlled chaos on this self-titled extravaganza.


 

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