Search The Line of Best Fit
Search The Line of Best Fit

"Imperial Goddess of Mercy"

Fixers – Imperial Goddess of Mercy
06 December 2011, 11:28 Written by Andy Johnson

They are fast-moving souls, those Fixers. The opening track of latest EP Imperial Goddess of Mercy begins as a ‘Thriller’-lite horror tune, introduces spiritual chanting right out of the Age of Aquarius and only then at last briefly coalesces into ‘Majesties Ranch’, the natural successor to the previous works by this ceaselessly inventive Oxford pop outfit. Released in anticipation of the band’s debut album due next year, this EP sees Fixers straining at the yoke imposed by its short-form constraints, seemingly eager for a larger canvas on which to splash their psychedelic colours.

Deservedly taking its skyscraper surge onto national airplay, ‘Majesties Ranch’ is cut from very much the same cloth as Here Comes 2001…, Fixers’ previous EP inspired by American UFO cults. A little rougher and less precise than past single ‘Crystals’, this pocket symphony is not much less impressive and is obviously the work of musicians acutely aware of their place in the musical landscape. “Wipe your seats of surfer blood”, Jack Goldstein sings, surely a jibe from a band in love with pop to another so strongly identified with “indie rock”, a term Fixers have long rejected.

If ‘Majesties Ranch’ feels complete and considered in the way that previous Fixers songs have done, it must be said also that much of Imperial Goddess of Mercy sounds instead like a set of slightly hurried sketches. ‘Evil Carbs’, for one, makes good on Goldstein’s aspiration to sound like “pure Japanese pop” but for all its oriental twinkling synths, Asian-sounding chants and lethargic beats it never truly comes across as a song per se. ‘Selinah’ is a similar story, packed with interesting and distorted sounds but light on recognisable hooks. The angelic, ringing guitar in the outro sounds fantastic, but it would have more impact in a stronger context.

It’s closer ‘Divorce’ which baffles the most, however. In the framework of a short seventeen-minute EP, Fixers build much of this track around a vocal sample from one of their own interviews in which they compared seeing Odd Future to “when Kiss took their masks off”. The outro, with the quote on repeat for 35 seconds plus, is almost agonising.

Imperial Goddess of Mercy has its moments, make no mistake: but when Fixers’ next task is to put together the lasting statement of a debut album, the sketchy nature and sometimes flimsy basis of these songs is a mildly worrying sign. This dynamic fivepiece have proved their talent already, but the key question is whether the larger canvas they have coming will see them surrender to their more flippant urges or, as we have every reason to hope, to come up with something focused and special. This EP leans further to the former, but when they move this fast there’s no telling where Fixers will be next year.

Share article

Get the Best Fit take on the week in music direct to your inbox every Friday

Read next