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Starting in early 2011, Daniel Fern and Mike Morales played for months as a rock duo. Dan’s experienced, versatile playing and writing style became an instant crowd pleaser, backing powerful, gut-wrenching vocals with rock solid guitar work.
As the duo gained steam, so too, did their reputation for kicking ass, garnering increasing attention and respect at their rehearsal space, and home away from home, King Killer Studios (Gowanus, Brooklyn).
After a show at Williamsburg’s Public Assembly, where they serendipitously shared the stage with fellow KK band Capita Clip, Dan and Mike, sparked by the low end emanating from Capita’s sound, asked bassist Bill Fitzgerald if he’d sit in at their next practice. Fitzgerald gladly obliged.
Bill jumped on board during this first rehearsal, bringing the vision of a power trio into fruition and forming EndAnd. With impressive vocal capabilities and spine-bending bass lines, Bill turned the project into a band when ‘Adventures of Fi in Space’ was performed at the album’s release show later that week.
What defines EndAnd is the way that, underneath the massed guitar-noise, lurk true-grit pop songs. Singing in his trademark growl, Daniel Fern always seems to hit an unexpected emotional register, with his powerfully crooked, croaky croon wavering in a way that makes the singer sound as if he’s delivering tender emotions under hard hitting rock tunes.
Just like the Pixies, EndAnd have a knack for bringing noise rock and college rock together, and this album proves to be a ready-made blueprint for that style. From the opening hints of crunching guitars in “Far In Between” to the amazing accessibility of “Labor Force” and the hook-filled rocker “Commando,” EndAnd rock back and forth, experimenting with indie sounds, pure rock and hardcore punk, somehow managing to create a melting pot that perfectly works out to the band’s advantage.
On the slower lamentful ‘Dawi’, Bill Fitzgerald’s bass barrels forward over Mike Morales’s clanking drums, with Fern’s guitar twisting out pummeling riffs, together bringing the boisterous bedlam of EndAnd into more conventional rock-ballad song structures.
“Legend” is a chilled out, somewhat melancholic acoustic-guitar driven instrumental, with some winding choral interludes that start out buried in the mix before subtly building to a climax and carrying the song to it’s understated roaring conclusion.
“Sweet” and “When And There” has a bit more of a rustic, live feel to it, and relinquishes none of the bands technical ability- the drum work here is especially noticeable, alongside the usual crunchy guitar riffs and downright dirty lead solos supplied by Daniel Fern.
The most astonishing thing about ‘Adventures of Fi in Space’ is that its so noisy and powerful and yet has such soft melodies running all the way through. This sound combination proves to work much better for EndAnd, than it ever did for famed bands like Sonic Youth or Pavement.
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