Fotocrime is a potent trinity composed of singer, guitarist, and producer Ryan Patterson (Coliseum), plus guitarist Nick Thieneman (Young Widows), and bassist Will Allard. The trio unveils their fourth album – their debut with the new label, Artoffact Records – aptly named “Accelerated.” This record witnesses the band audaciously leapfrogging over their trademark darkwave-tinged post-punk into uncharted waters.
In his virtuoso journey, Patterson has unearthed a distinctive niche, poised on the knife-edge between intricate, melancholic melodies and the robust structure of instrumental orchestration. Each composition within the album unfurls a rich auditory canvas, with subtle undertones and bold sonic explorations continually surfacing with each successive listen. “Accelerated” brings to mind a mythical collaboration between The The, The Sisters of Mercy, and the Church.
The title track kicks off with a mesmerizing loop of guitar and synth, swiftly giving way to the rhythmic thump of Simmons SDS toms, an ARP 2600 kick, and a weighty Moog bass. This results in an enthralling, cinematic backbeat grounded by Patterson’s enchanting vocals, Allard’s bass guitar line with its echoes of Motown, and Thieneman’s brooding rockabilly-inspired guitar hooks and textures.
“In recent years, time seems to move at an ever-increasing speed and reality shifts rapidly,” Patterson muses, pointing out that our daily lives, access to information, and ability to process art have hastened in innumerable ways. “‘Accelerated‘ is our response to living in this moment. It’s a song about love like a locomotive going off the rails that also serves as an allegory for a world spinning out of control.”
The enigmatic performance video, directed by Ryan Patterson and captured through the lens of Tommy Johns, is swathed in an air of secrecy. The band powerfully delivers the song in what seems to be a forsaken industrial setting – perhaps an old factory or warehouse, adding an extra layer of intrigue to their performance. Joe Watson edited the clip.
“While we’ve made many videos over the years, this is our first full-band performance-based music video,” says Patterson. “We wanted to show the energy and dynamic of our live shows while also giving a nod to the classic videos that captured our imaginations in our youth. We were lucky enough to have access to a location with an apt amount of post-apocalyptic, decaying industrial atmosphere.”
Watch the video for “Accelerated below:
Emerging onto the scene in early 2017, Fotocrime announced their arrival with two potent EPs that year – Always Hell and Always Night. Their musical journey expanded with the release of their debut full-length album, Principle of Pain, via Auxiliary/Golden Antenna in 2018. Profound Lore Records welcomed them for their second and third albums, South Of Heaven (2020) and Heart Of Crime (2021). A year later, Fotocrime took matters into their own hands, self-releasing Alcoves, an anthology of covers including songs from luminaries like Leonard Cohen, Portishead, and Discharge, among others.
In the span of just over five years, Fotocrime has etched their sonic signature across the landscapes of the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Europe, embarking on multiple tours and sharing stages with stalwarts like Nitzer Ebb, Soft Kill, Hide, Crippled Black Phoenix, Bleakness, Russian Circles, Emma Ruth Rundle, Jawbox, Pop.1280, and Choir Boy. In addition, their dynamic performances have graced prominent festivals such as Roadburn, Amplifest, and Electric Funeral.
Accelerated will be released on limited edition vinyl on Artoffact Records on September 8th.
Photo credit: Amber Thieneman.
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