Death Of Fashion - Hello Movement

Tim Miller 29/05/2006

Rating: 3/5

Death of Fashion have been building up to their debut album for 4 years, since meeting in 2002 and leaving college to pursue their music dream in New York. It's clear, in their music, that this move has influenced their style, which might ultimately pose a problem for the band.

Hello Movement, recorded live over four days so as not to lose the raw sound, begins with Sailor Song, a track which sounds like The Strokes played on a record player at half-speed. Indeed, The Strokes comparisons abound throughout this album. Death of Fashion ply a similar sort of trade, in that unmistakable NYC dark, sleazy rock style. Their frontman, who by all accounts is an unpredictable live maverick (once ejected from his own gig by security for a 'suicide attempt'), sings with all the confidence and swagger that Brandon Flowers could muster on a particularly self-loving day.

Death of Fashion's sound, meanwhile, features juicy off beat guitars in Sailor Song and Smokes and Mirrors a la a self-destructing Libertines, but return to Strokes territory on It's All Ours and Come Alone, a song based on one note for much of its entirety, before a catchy chorus that instantly recalls Room on Fire. At times in Hello Movement, Death of Fashion break it down a little, using a sparse musical set up with lots of blank spaces and plunging basslines. This tends to be a useful way, however, of marking the weaker songs, such as the simplistic Lady Lust and the rather tuneless efforts Left Right and Urgency in Harlem. The album goes a bit freestyle towards the end, with the final three tracks slipping into one another, none featuring anything standout in terms of melody or riffs, but more a general soundscape evolving over three tracks. The final track has the pretentiousness to play out with nearly EIGHT minutes of turntable feedback before someone says “I read your book!”. I had to find this out the hard way. You'll suffer for this, Death of Fashion.

The danger for Death of Fashion is that their full sound is nothing much new. They create a few decent tracks with their dirty rock, and show a real flash of genius with These Days, a truly brilliant song with a rich, soaring arrangement. Would it be so much to hail it as a 21st century Love Will Tear Us Apart? Possibly, since Death of Fashion don't show the continued quality to match the longevity of Joy Division. But These Days truly is a highpoint on Hello Movement, sadly one of very few. Despite being recorded live, and the product of four years spent together, Hello Movement is unlikely to spark a revolution in music.