Fight the Fade is back with another solid album, in Love. in Hope. in Peace. Tinged with some hard rock and some electronic elements, this album is an aural kaleidoscope of experimental rock that is both fun and profound. The musicianship is superb, and the lyrics are thoughtful.
“Don’t Say,” is a great way to ease into the album. The track starts with a lone guitar, its lamenting tone drifting just above the ethereal underpinning. About halfway through, the electronic elements start to invade the soundscape and flow perfectly into the next track, which starts with a pretty heavy, funky synth presence. “Everything Is Fine?” sings about the fact that the world keeps moving on despite whatever struggles may come our way. We can’t control our circumstances, we can only control how we react to them. The bridge strips things down a bit with a piano ostinato providing a foundation as the drumsticks dance a fast rhythm on the hi-hat.
“What’s Left” is more of a rock track, with the guitars and drums hitting after the synth intro. This track is relatable in today’s society; with the prevalence of social media, it’s so easy to fall into the trap of thinking that the highlight reel we see of others’ lives is their reality. When we compare this to our lives, we may begin to feel empty, or feel that we need to put up a façade of perfection. But, as the song says, “the truth of the matter is we’re all surrounded by fear.” Maybe fear that we don’t measure up to an impossible standard, or fear that we need to have all the answers. But once we shift our focus and stop making comparisons, we’ll find that we’re stronger than perhaps we even realize.
“Consumed” is the hardest hitting track on the album. There is a heavy synth intro with soaring strings and a driving beat. As the first verse starts, singing of feeling like the walls are closing in and the adrenaline-pumping, heart-pounding sensation that follows, much of the music drops out and the strings trail off, exposing the thumping bass and unrelenting kick drum, adding to the feeling of tension. The chorus is a battle cry, emboldening the listener to fight for what is important and not let oneself be consumed by the lies of the enemy.
“Heart” truly allows the tenor of Zene Smith’s voice to shine through. The first verse is stripped down and the lyrics sincere. The bass provides a dramatic ambiance, best experienced through headphones. The song picks up momentum as the second verse kicks in and the full band joins. “Heart” is about the disillusionment felt when trust is broken and true colors are revealed, and the desire to have a trusted companion once more.
The guitars have the strongest presence on “Underwater,” kicking in after the intro. They drop out for the first verse where the vocals weave a beautiful tapestry of harmony. “Underwater” is a slight departure from the electro-rock of the previous tracks, and hearkens back to the band’s rock roots. We all go through seasons where we feel like it’s all we can do to keep our heads above water. It’s invaluable to know that we have someone that will be there in the end, to extend a helping hand when we need to reach out, whether that be a close friend or our ultimate Helper and Heavenly Father.
“The Answer” is a great track to wrap up the album. It’s the perfect blend of the electronic and rock vibes, and has a sincere message. After fighting through all the ups and downs of life and struggling with our sins, we all need a place where we can escape to clear our minds. And it sums up the record well, this collection of songs that reflect upon the roller coaster of living life. To quote Zene Smith, “we hope you enjoy the ride as we wrestle with being in and out of love, hoping for a brighter tomorrow, and being at peace with whatever today is bringing.”