"The sun don't shine and nothing's getting better," Neil Sabatino bemoans on "Lack of Luster," "I'll continue to whine a sore loser forever." But with Wait & Hope, Fairmont's fourth album, the frontman has his revenge, with an album seeped deep in melancholy, misery, and murderous plans.
Many of the song titles reflect Sabatino's vengeful mood, not least "Since Day One I've Been Plotting Your Death." But it's "At the End of the Movie"'s lyrics that are the most alarming, as the singer maps out the destruction of his old life (and everything and one in it), and beginning anew as a spree killer. Obviously this is a guy with serious issues! But don't call the cops just yet, for Sabatino's merely venting, and with good cause, Fairmont's had a tough time these last couple of years. This cathartic set should hopefully set things right, helping the band leave the tension, anger, and helplessness behind them. For now there's a decided tautness underlying the album, a slash and burn musical approach that echoes of old-school punk while eagerly embracing the angsty feel of the '80s indie scene. It's most evident on the set's first four tracks, as Fairmont punch their way through dark, moody pop
ock, bash into garage rock, stomp across the '60s-edged, post-punk fired "Plotting," then storm into the Wave laced, '70s rock of "Fredo." That quartet quivers with tension, on anthemic rockers like "Dahlia," "Happiness Is a Million Miles Away," and "Tuesday Night Danbury," the band loosens their restraints, the latter's not punk rock, but it's lit by the same fire regardless. "Dahlia," in contrast, slides straight into '80s indie, while "Today I Was Thinking About You" adds a tinge of U2 and a dollop of H�sker D� to the mix. As always with Fairmont, the strong melodies and hooky choruses rule, and while none of the songs musically reflect the band's seething anger, it's still evident by the way the trio attack their instruments, an assault that guest singer Teeter Sperber's sweet vocals can't veil. Even the folky "Andy Goldfish Dreams of the Ocean" is delivered up with a surprising kick, and more than a touch of anger at the fish's entrapment. Fairmont's strongest album to date, and regardless of the downer lyrics, the music within takes the band to never before reached heights.