Answer Back – Fate and Fortune (2020)

After a few years of quiet, Answer Back have returned with a new EP Fate and Fortune. Infusing their pop songs with a new rock take, they are hoping listeners will connect with their songs in a new way. The EP is the sound of a new era for the band and one that will get rock fans excited about their music.

Since the departure of their bassist CJ Hopton in 2016, the band has gone through some significant changes. Moving from a three-piece to a duo, Oliver Grizzell and Chris Lewin took the opportunity to reassess the band’s sound. Turning to a more intimate soundscape, they debuted for BBC Introducing Recordings. They are now turning again and dipping into their original rock roots.

The EP opens with ‘Count To Three’ which has a quintessential pop sound going on. The guitar-driven melody has a light sprinkling of rock vibes, but the movement is essentially pop. The vocals add a bit of rock to the song while the flow of the performance makes you think of some 90s pop songs. It is a great start to the EP and gives you a view of what is to come. The pop-rock style works really well with the vocals and adds a little edge to the band’s usual style.

‘Waves’ brings more of the rock stylings into play. The guitar opening has a great depth to it as it vibrates against the back of your skull. The vocals have a hint of Britpop in the delivery, but there is something modern and unique to it as well. The interplay between the duo’s vocals creates a fun wave to the music as they overlap. There is an intriguing vibe to the track that makes you want to see what is resting below.

The ticking start of ‘Blissful’ combines wonderfully with the strummed rock guitar line for a truly captivating opening. This is one of the most rock songs on the EP with some faster vocals. There is a hint of post-punk to the song that comes through in the vocal flow. As the rock guitars gain power in the leadup to the chorus, they really get your head banging to them. There is an easy vibe to this song making you want to listen to it at any time of the day.

While ‘Fate’ has a seriously full-on rock-pop opening, there is something vulnerable and raw about this song. The vocals have a raw thread to them from the first moment as they work through events that seem to be fate. However, through the chorus, there is a sense that you need to take your life into your own hands. The storytelling lyrics are a lot of fun to listen to as you get lost in the tale of the two characters. There is a soaring feeling to the chorus of this track that puts it almost in anthemic territory.

The EP comes to a close with ‘Bleeding Heart’ which hits you with some upbeat vibes from the very start. The vocals have a sweet edge to them as they lift your spirits. The melody is a perfect combination of rock and pop sensibilities making the track the perfect end to the introduction to a new era in the band’s sound. This song can easily be listened to again and again without ever getting tired of it as you sing along to the chorus.

Answer Back infuses rock stylings into their pop songs for the addictive sounds of Fate and Fortune. The EP hits you with their new melded soundscape from the first second and only builds in power as you listen. Each track has a unique soundscape that gets you into the new moment of the band.

Find out more about Answer Back on their website, Facebook, Twitter and Spotify.

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