Having made the most of your long Bank Holiday Weekend, I’m pretty sure you’ll be in need of some good old fast-paced punk meets rock’n ‘roll to get your brain back in gear. Luckily for you, we have the perfect tonic in North Carolina-based quartet The Fill Ins.
You can’t help but rock along to The Fill Ins’ energetic brand of rocky punk, with huge driving drums, engaging shouty vocals and big chunky riffs aplenty. The band won huge plaudits for their 2014 album Hipster Killers, and have built on that success with their most recent album The Time Is Now – which is among the best albums we’ve heard this year.
Lead single from the album is Lock and Load, which is pure, unadulterated, in your face rock’n’roll. Check it out in the video below:
A particular favourite of mine is the big, brash smash that is Hate, wild drums and gnarling vocals are followed by a big fast-paced solo then dives down into another rocking hit of punky rock’n’roll, followed by a bigger, faster extended solo – it’s impossible not to bang your head along to this track.
There’s more of the same in Hit The Gas, which sees the album draw to an impressive, fast-paced ending with an impressively hard-hitting, singalong chorus. Check it out in the video below:
Frontman Alex Stiff tells us: “The feedback we’ve gotten has been really awesome. The video has gotten a good bit of views, and I’ve heard nothing but folks saying it’s just straight forward, in your face, rock n roll.. which is exactly what we want. It’s bit of a newer direction, moving away from fast punk style writing to more riffy and catchy tunes and I think the U.K. audience will thoroughly enjoy it. They have always seemed a bit more into rock’n’roll than the US, especially as of lately.
The band has taken inspiration from the likes of The Ramones, KISS and Thin Lizzy, through to heavier metal such as Metallica and Motörhead. And, as Alex alludes to, the band’s sound has evolved over the last couple of years, which is certainly for the positive judging by the new album.
Alex tells us: “We played a show once and someone said we were ‘high octane rock n roll,’ and I thought that was perfect! That really is the best way to describe it; we’re not really punk, we’re not talented enough to be full on rock’n’roll, so we strike this cool middle ground with a bit of metal influence thrown in for good measure. We’re a Frankenstein’s monster of all things rock’n’roll.”
The quartet of Alex on vocals and guitar, lead guitarist Muscles Mikey, bassist Captain Nunn and drummer Adam Patterson hail from the south-eastern US state of North Carolina, and Alex said of their local area: “You’re going to have your good and bad everywhere you go. I used to worry a lot more about what ‘scene’ we fit in with, but that really limits your experiences when it comes to shows. I think we have a great local rock and metal scene here; a ton of really great bands that I think should be noticed more than they are, and we’re proud to be among them!”
One thing you can guarantee from The Fill Ins is that you’re going to have a good time listening to them. It’s fun and it’s loud – which is exactly what we want right? You cna also guarantee that it’s not going to be political, as Alex explains: “We’ll write about anything aside from political issues; we’re a very non-political band. My reasoning behind it is due to the fact music is supposed to be an escape, at least that’s how I see it, and I don’t like people preaching to me about what they believe, so I’m not going to do that either.
“Some of my favourite bands made an impact without having to be political and there are enough bands out there with an agenda, we’re here to just have a good time and make you forget about the world around you while The Fill Ins are in charge. Get up, have a good time, that crap will still be there after the show is over, I don’t need to be reminded.”
The Fill Ins are fun, they’re loud and they rock, and they have a refreshing, interesting approach to music to boot. So what’s not to like? They’re currently in the early stages of writing new music, but expect fresh tracks by the end of next year.