steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

blankred.jpg (4669 bytes)
blankred.jpg (4669 bytes)
blankred.jpg (4669 bytes)
blankred.jpg (4669 bytes)
info opinion


"The Ruins of This Life" CD

Losing Blueprint

Genres: indie rock, experimental rock, absolute chaos

Losing Blueprint / Andrew Wagner
12A Day St.
Waltham, MA 02453

Feb 17 - 23 2003

2002 saw the release of many well-publicized albums by many well-known bands.  With all the Flaming Lips robots, all the Interpol art-rockers, and all the Wilco cowboys, it was easy to ignore what was coming out on the smaller labels.  And it's for this reason that such a terrific album as Fiesel's full-length debut, The Ruins of This Life, goes unnoticed.

But, fortunately, I had been anxiously awaiting this release for ages.  Why?  Because I was one of the noble few who had had the pleasure of experiencing Fiesel's turbulent debut ep, a release so excruciatingly powerful that I found it hard not to break into severely spasmodic dancing every time I heard it.

But when I first heard The Ruins of This Life, I was a little pissed off.  Fiesel had changed - instead of crafting those short, mind-blowingly angular rock nuggets that I had fallen in love with, they had produced a full album out of seven, much more lengthy tunes.  I had been betrayed!  All I had looked forward to for the past year was dashed to pieces!  But then, I listened.  I listened to the power of "Better Days Will Come," which starts off quietly, and then suddenly rockets into an explosive, energetic rock song.  I listened to the epileptic drums and abused, out-of-control guitar strings of "Coin Return" being smashed to pieces in absolute chaos.  I listened.  I listened and my initial complaints slowly died out.

By the time the cluttering feedback on "Black as Midnight on a Moonless Night / Cold Hardwood Floor" slowly faded away, allowing a brief little calm bit to surface amidst the chaos, I was in complete musical ecstasy.  Nothing really mattered anymore, the music was all that was relevant at that point in time.

And it's moments like these that make The Ruins of This Life so amazing.  The intense, explosive chaos that Fiesel creates is absolutely terrific.  On a track like "Crime of the Century," they turn thirteen minutes into a jerky, spasmodically changing jolt of sound and energy.  The drums aren't satisfied to find one specific beat, instead they are pounded in a seemingly uncontrolled - yet solidly rhythmic - manner.  The guitars, on the other hand, build tension by short, repeated fragments, only to be blown away in a haze of feedback and angularity - chords are turned upside, flipside, rightside, leftside, and underside, and frantic waves of axe noise are draped over the listener relentlessly.  Your head is pummeled without remorse - by the end of it all, you're left in such a state that you can no longer think straight.  And though, at times, the band does cool things down a bit, they manage to end the piece in messy, feedback-drenched climax, only to shoot right into "Choke," a one minute throwback to the style the exhibited on their ep.  The last thing we hear on the album is all the band members letting out a mutual "UGH!"  Classy.

Fiesel are one of my favourite new rock outfits to surface in a long time.  Making their way through the most impossible time measures, handling absolute guitar chaos as if it was nothing, while still remaining a zest for melody and tunefulness, these musicians perfectly embody what it means to be rock.  Call it experimental, call it math rock, call if what ever the fuck you'd like - Fiesel are one of the freshest bands around today, and The Ruins of This Life is an album I sincerely suggest you buy.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 7 songs, distributed by the label, released 2002]