Distributor/Label: PIAS Recordings
Kier Kemp – Guitars
Laurence Beveridge – Vocals
Cyrus Barrone – Guitars
Drew Woolnaugh – Bass
Luke Illingworth – Drums
2. Say What You Want From Me (The Ghost You Left Behind)
3. Turn Your Heart Into A Tomb
4. Exploding Heart Disorder
5. Edge Of Eternity
6. Taste The Iron On Your Lips
7. Our Nature’s Unnatural
8. Dream Of You
9. Brave The Night
10. In Wondrous Rage
11. Neon In The Dance Halls
12. Batten Down The Hatches
14. Unbreakable Hearts
15. Remember My Name
16. Lucifer’s Shroud
17. City Falls To Dust
It’s easy to be cynical with a band like Fearless Vampire Killers. Aside from their immaculate hair, the fact they dress like AFI’s love children and deal in sugary sweet pop metal makes it difficult to believe they weren’t assembled to a set of precise guidelines written by a record label committee.
They’re a slick, overly-polished act playing music so inoffensive they could tour with One Direction and seem precision engineered to fill the void left by My Chemical Romance. Plus, they’re uncannily reminiscent of those guys who accidentally killed Jack Black in the Brutal Legend opening sequence.
In fairness though, even a cursory glance at their history shows that these guys are so committed to their craft it borders on obsessive compulsive disorder. They design all their artwork and merchandise themselves, have set up a social networking site exclusively for their fans and one of them wrote an entire novel to accompany a four song EP. Laugh at their make-up all you like, they mean it!
And as far as pop metal goes, ‘Unbreakable Hearts’ is a perfectly reasonable album. It’s full of big choruses and catchy melodies and when it comes to picking the singles they’re spoiled for choice.
Like all good theatre, it’s also overlong, pompous, melodramatic and self-indulgent, but given that it’s a concept album that was inevitable. It’s not perfect by any means and as hard as they try, they don’t measure up to the high standards set by Gerard Way’s lot, but neither is it as terrible as their dress sense will have you believe.
First track ‘Say What You Want From Me (The Ghost You Left Behind)’ sets the stage aptly. It’s a slice of high camp posturing, full of vocal harmonies and glam rock guitar, all built round a huge sing-a-long chorus.
It’s the sort of track that’ll convert fourteen year olds into rock fans while their older siblings pretend not to like it. The same can be said for ‘Exploding Heart Disorder,’ ‘Neon In The Dance Halls,’ ‘Our Nature’s Unnatural’ and at least two thirds of the track list, because if Fearless Vampire Killers do one thing well, it’s write a killer single.
On the flipside though, the concept isn’t especially ground breaking and there’s too much filler. ‘Lucifer’s Shroud’ is cringe inducing nonsense, ‘City Falls To Dust’ is preposterously over-cheesy and there’s a couple of utterly terrible ballads shoe horned in as well.
You have to commend them for their ambition, but they’ve over stretched and the album suffers as a result. All of which means that hard core metalheads will utterly hate this but then they’re not the target audience anyway.
In six or seven years there’s going to be people in their early twenties at Hellfest talking about how Fearless Vampire Killers were their gateway band.
They may occasionally be little more than pop-punk that’s spent too long watching The Nightmare Before Christmas, but they know how to make a song stick in your head for days and no mistake. Thousands of teenage bedroom walls await!