Sound — 9
An indie rock three piece from norn iron' you say? Haven't we fallen for this before? To be quite honest I don't think General Fiasco fell for Ash as their sound is quite different. The sound may be described as generic indie pop rock, but certainly deserves to be up there with the best generic indie pop rock sounds to emerge in recent years. Everybody's trying to be something different in the business today; maybe it's about time somebody decided to be the same. The sound is very much guitar based with echoes of everything from the Strokes to the Kings of Leon and from the Foo Fighters to Bombay Bicycle Club. The bass lines are clearly written to fill that rhythm guitar gap in the live show and keep the songs moving along. Leakey's drumming shows what a difference having a damn good drummer can make to any band with some incredibly fast snare playing and freakishly fast hi-hat smashing. Enda's soaring guitar riffs in 'We Are The Foolish' and 'Please Take Your Time' are at times irresistible and show indie music at its most natural. The only low point of the album being the seriously over produced 'Sinking Ships', luckily in buying my album I got a free acoustic disc with it with an acoustic version of this tune that sounds absolutely incredible begging the question why they felt the need to change it. However the use of strings and brass in the title track 'Buildings' is very effective giving a much needed break from the formulaic indie tunes and shows a different dimension to the band, maybe a dimension worth exploring in the future. Sometimes the guitars become shockingly heavy (Please Take Your Time and First Impressions) making me ask when did Angus Young get here? For the most part the sound is effective and inspires energy within the listener helping give the album lots of replay value.
Lyrics — 10
Owen Strathern's lyrics seem to revolve around the turbulent lives of today's youths. Although the music may be upbeat for the most part, the lyrics are quite bleak. Ever So Shy at first glance seems like a drink encouraging simply having a good time pop tune but look deeper and we see a world were youths succumb to casual alcoholism out of mere boredom. The stick in your head for the rest of the day opening hook 'let's get wasted' now looks harshly ironic. That's not to say the General Fiasco crew are just sitting back and letting their friends throw their lives away! Not at all, songs like We Are the Foolish and Something Sometime (only on iTunes version) are encouraging people to 'Wake up, Wake up' and get out and do something meaningful with their lives 'don't you know, you gotta go something sometime'. The lyrics are sung as if they truly mean something and can surely resonate with their target audience as well as adding a depth to the album. The band doesn't shy away from adding some incredibly catchy hooks; all presented by Owen's high pitched yet surprisingly powerful vocals.
Overall Impression — 9
This band clearly aren't reinventing the wheel, just making it rounder. It's been done before, but these guys are going about improving it in all the right ways. Having caught the guys live twice I can say all the energy on the album is double in the live show, quite an achievement on the bands part. Buildings' is an excellent debut for the young band, the show opening Dancing with Girls' being my personal favourite. This album is a solid foundation for Fiasco to build upon and an exciting prospect for any music fans. Can't wait to hear where these guys go next.