Album Review – Fast & Loose by Nick Frater (2020) (Big Stir Records)
Music that might be a tad too commercial, accessible, popular, radio friendly (take any two from four, plant them in a sentence and you have the average rejection reason for submissions to Submithub) can often be dismissed by micro blogs like this, whose need to appear ‘cool’ is regularly linked to wanting to be associated with all things indie and left field.
Londoner Nick Frater does not meet the abovementioned criteria that will guarantee him entrance into the kingdom of cool. However, anyone able to dismiss his music, is plainly incapable of benefitting from being blessed with fully functional ears.
For Frater is everything perfect about the whole ‘accessible’ thing, with his only modus operandi appearing to be multiple decisions about how he can prise as many pop hooks out of power-pop guitar strains, 70’s piano rock and the poppier side of psyche.
As such, tracks like Lets Hear It For Love and Cocaine Gurls are Alex Chiltonpersuading the Teenage Fanclub to drop the fuzz for a second and embrace the 70s, Luna and Would You Like To Go are the The Beach Boys transplanted to a West London 60’s stomping ground rather than West Coast America, whereas Fast and Looseand So Now We’re Here is Frater’s perfect surrender to the whirling colours of British psychedelia.
Frater may well feel ‘familiar’ because of his juxtaposition of the most popular sounds of yesteryear, but it is the way he forms them into hooks and waht he does with the arrangements, that makes him the latest power-pop darling to be blessed by the Big Stir Records patronage.