Wearing your influences on your sleeve can be something of a double-edged sword. Having a clear through-line between your sound and the people you aspire to be like can make you easily accessible to a certain audience. But it also leaves you open to the usual grumbling of “yeah, but they’re not as good”.
So it’s to The Fame’s immense credit that they can create a sound that’s so obvious in its influences, and yet still stand on its own two feet as a straight-up great tune.
Their latest single, “Cherry Lipstick”, sounds like it’s been ripped straight from a 90s film soundtrack. Its laid back guitar riffs and sing-a-long chorus conjure up memories of Oasis and Smashing Pumpkins. You can also hear a dash of early 2000s New York rock in there too.
Thankfully, both the quality of the songwriting and the musicianship of the band stop “Cherry Lipstick” from sounding derivative. The languid melody of the verse, along with the steady drumbeat and coursing guitars, is perfect for nodding your head to, easing you into a relaxed mood before the booming chorus kicks in and knocks you into shape.
The vocals match perfectly with the bands tightly controlled chaos as the chorus takes the tune to another level. This perfect blend of laid back and headbanging leads to a guitar solo that would make any aspiring player proud.
“Cherry Lipstick” is just one of a number of singles the band will be releasing ahead of the debut of their EP, produced by famed producer Brian Moncarz. Hopefully, if what comes next is anything like this explosive banger, the Fame is set for big things to come.
Words Jack Murphy