British up-start band

by Shialing Kwa | 11/19/97 6:00am

The Brits have always provided entertainment for us Yanks, whether we're laughing at the comic antics of Monty Python (or the Royal Family), cracking jokes about their bad teeth or jamming to their music.

True, this is the nation which provided us with the sickening pop of The Spice Girls, but Britain makes up for those frightening quints by dazzling us with its dizzying array of the biggest names in music: Oasis, Bush, The Prodigy, The Rolling Stones, Blur.

Look at music past (Beatle-mania) or music present (the electronica of The Chemical Brothers); you can't deny that the British have had a huge impact on musical taste in the States.

Now there's a new Brit band hoping to break in on the American rock scene. Yes, Fat is a burst of energy that could substitute for a can of Jolt, but does the band live up to the tradition of innovative, cutting-edge British rock?

Fat consists of A.D., Paul Andrews and Gareth Prosser. Andrews furnishes the heart-pounding beats, Prosser is responsible for the intense guitar riffs and all three provide vocals, though A.D. is the lead.

Who knows what A.D. stands for? A.D.D. would be a better abbreviation for this energetic, can't-sit-still lead singer. He shouts, he raps, he wails and yes, he does sing on the band's new self-titled album.

Fat's opening tracks, "Dog" and "Downtime," establish the group's style: jarring beats, pounding guitars, funky samples and repetitive lyrics. The lyrics of the second track are actually amusing in their redundancy: "Out/ I should have kept you out/Last night I should have kept you out/ I said Out/ I should have kept you out/ Why didn't I keep you out?"

Suprisingly enough, the track's title isn't "Out." Another irritating aspect is the similarity of the "Downtime" chorus to the chorus of "I Want You," the hit single by Australian band Savage Garden. When A.D. sings, "Ooh, I woulda done," one immediately thinks of Savage Garden's, "Ooh, I want you." The similiarity between the ooh-I's is just too eerie.

"New Birth," "Easy Chair" and "Whatever" are three of the album's better songs.

Though a strong beat and vigorous guitars are found in all of the songs, they are especially effective in "New Birth" because they are paired with slower, more mellow vocals.

The opening words of "Easy Chair" are terrific, in contrast to the majority of the other songs' lyrics: "It's easier now, the TV is on/I can sit here, pretend that I'm gone."

"Whatever" is the slowest song on the album; its sweeter tune is a refreshing change of pace from the rest of the CD.

With this album, the band tries to fulfill all "FAT fetishes" with a mix of punk to pop and hip-hop to metal.

However, it's difficult to blend these different genres into a cohesive, coherent album.

Fat is definitely a fantastic album if you're in need of an energy boost during a study slump-- it will have you bouncing in your chair in no time. However, like high-caffeine soda, it provides lots of energy while lacking overall substance.