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“They are prepared to die for rock and roll. Consider the recent image of mid-Ulster band General Fiasco, tied and blindfolded, taking a final drag on a Benson. The reason for their execution isn’t given, but you can guess that they’re guilty of some fearsome crime to deserve the firing squad. Only bullets will stop them now. Hey, it’s only a press photograph, taken by the very talented Phil O’kane, but it says plenty. The average shot of a local band comes complete with its own apology. Most acts are incapable of throwing a few poses, or even dressing up a bit, in case their mates laugh at them. Concepts are pretty much outlawed. But General Fiasco are above the petty ridicules. Also, their songs are easy to remember and they have a thumping intensity that’s rather cool. I can happily live with the pop shapes of ‘Rebel Get By’ or ‘A Wise Decision’, which finds the boy doing a runner from the girl and wondering if he’s made the right call. You could see some of that composure and skill when General Fiasco arrived at BBC in Belfast for an acoustic session. Leaky the drummer was absent, but since he plays in a bunch of other acts that was understandable. Anyway, people playing tambourines on acoustic tracks is always lame. But we did meet Owen, who seemingly holds General Fiasco together. He used to feature in The Tdies, with a blue Rickenbacker bass and a haughty glare. Now he’s been liberated from the Oasic references and he’s working it hard. Enda plays guitar and they handle ‘A Wise Decision’, even in this skeletal form. On ‘Ever So Shy’, the mood is anxious and stuttering, not unlike The Killers, when the pressure is on. In all the Fiasco songs, the lovers are at odds and the aftershock is bad for the liver and the heart. That’s definitely the scenario for ‘Maybe I’m A Little Bit Strange’ where the entire system is under stress and the prospects are poor. Collectively though, it’s good news. General Fiasco are up there in the rankings, already.”

Edited by crjohnson on 24 Feb 2008, 16:31

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