Fish Tank, a name that will tell you very little about this little gem of a 3-piece from Broadstairs in Kent, it’s plain, simple and gives no clues about the torrent of brain shattering talent you’re about to hear, especially if you are lucky enough to catch them live.
Fish Tank drifted back into my cross hair in late November with their new single Friends and for those unfamiliar with either Fish Tank or Math Rock, I’m here to hold your hand through the experience and probably abandon you in the middle of what is possibly the most understated genre of music knocking about the UK at the moment.
This band is likely to rapidly swerve off in a multitude of directions, not just across songs but in mere seconds, so be prepared for that. It makes every song exciting and somewhat unique and this song is no different. Friends will lull you into a familiar atmosphere almost instantly with an opening guitar riff reminiscent of early Blink-182 with more pop pushing its way forwards as the song kicks in. I (you?) can’t help but hide a guilty grin.
After a little taste of Ed Wetenhals vocals we’re treated to a little more musical showmanship as some TTNG-esque tapping leaks through the mix. This all builds very naturally to a chorus with a pungent pop punk vocal hook;
“Numbers are stepping in
Well, I’ll make the first move
Celebration apart from when the engines are running and I’m feeling the deep burn”
Stop. Repeat. Verse. Chorus. Is it stuck in your head yet?
We’re treated to some jarring halts as the second verse sinks back into the chorus, a trait of the genre (and the band) that keeps the song fresh despite the simple structure. With that chorus hook now firmly established in your head, they hit the accelerator pedal and things get a little punkier, but they’re not done, they keep putting their foot down and everything becomes a little insane. Things spiral out of control with a huge outro that matches even Oceansize both in tone and inventive slabs of chord that shouldn’t exist.
There’s a music video to accompany the track that I won’t spoil for you, but it’s fun and is a nice addition to a great track. There’s also an adorable little demo strapped on to the single that’s worth checking out. It’s a lot more predictable and accessible, so if the math rock vibes put you off and you’re looking for something to listen to as you roll around in a picturesque field with the love of your life, this might hit the spot.
These guys seem to be gigging hard and they’re only better live, so go check them out! This is not a request, this is a demand.
Words by Daniel Gibbon