Hailing yourself as the ‘forefront of a new generation of rock’ is a bold claim for any band to make. Fortunately for new UK rockers Fragile Things, and you wonderfully lucky listeners, they backup these words with their music.
The quartet, who hail from Milton Keynes and Brighton, are fronted by the epic vocals of Richie Hevanz – the original Heaven’s Basement frontman – alongside guitarist Mark Hanlon, drummer Hugo ‘Wolfie’ Bowman and bassist Steve Lathwell. Hevanz’ huge vocals are supported by blitzing guitar solos, awesome riffs and driving drums, giving Fragile Things a style that could easily see them positioned as the UK’s answer to Alter Bridge.
Indeed, it’s tough to imagine a better debut EP than Broken Sun, which came out in June. Opening track Enemy Is I is a classic rock anthem which opens up with a fast-paced guitar riff that feeds into an impressive introduction to Hevanz’ vocals followed by bursts of high-pitched guitar. There’s a drawn out guitar solo which slowly builds into a massive blitz of guitar brilliance, before the song closes out with a couple of renditions of the chorus. It’s pure unadulterated rock’n’roll.
That’s followed by Open Cage, on which Hevanz opens up sounding distinctively Axl Rose-esque. There’s heavy guitar riffs and snarling vocals, and overall it’s an immaculately put together rock song.
Broken Sun is probably my favourite track on the EP, starting with a blitz of drums and feeding into a quick, heavy guitar intro, before Hevanz comes into his own, driving the song forward with an engaging opening verse and an awesome chorus that you can’t help but sing along to. Everything about this song is superb – massive riffs, an epic solo, huge drums and awe-inspiring vocals. Check out the lyric video below:
Final track on the EP is So Cold, which again features a fantastic chorus and heavy rock riffs followed by a wonderful solo. It’s hard to believe this is their debut EP, so we caught up with bassist Steve this week to find out more about this exciting British band.
We first asked him to define what makes Fragile Things special. Steve said: “We try not to be your ‘typical’ rock band. We try to incorporate complex rhythmic ideas into our songs and feel this makes us fall into lots of different categories of music. You could put us alongside heavier metal acts and we wouldn’t seem out of place, but on the flip side of that we could play alongside some more melodic rock bands and still fit in.”
Given the complexity of their music it’s understandably difficult to picture how they go about putting it together, so we asked Steve what influences the band’s creative process.
He explained: “Usually when we write, the initial idea of a song comes from one person and we work on that as a band. Depending on how that person is feeling that day plays a huge part on how the song idea comes about. For example, if Mark is exceptionally pissed off, you can expect something dark to head our way. In terms of lyrics, all of Richie’s ideas are very personal and are usually based on his own experiences.
“Mark is the brains behind most of our music. It’s usually him that presents the initial idea to us and then we put it through the Fragile Things filter, which usually consists of many beers and sitting on someone’s living room floor with an acoustic and bashing out ideas until something clicks into place.
The band draws influence from the likes of Led Zeppelin, which are obvious throughout their music, as well as Alice in Chains and Smashing Pumpkins, and even TesseracT, on behalf of drummer Hugo.
Fragile Things are currently unsigned, so we got onto the topic of the music industry and how new bands can find success. Steve said: “The music industry is so hard to break these days. There are so many bands out there today all trying to be the next big thing. With the addition of social media, you can literally listen to anyone in the world from anywhere in the world. It makes it very difficult to try and stand out and make people take notice.
“We’ve all been doing this for years now and it’s only now do we feel like we are starting to find a place in the current musical climate! The best thing for people to do would be to turn off the TV, turn off the radio and actually go out and discover something new for themselves. Some of the best music we have ever heard has been in a room where there were no more than seven people. There’s so much hidden talent out there, it’s heart-breaking to know that these people will go unheard because there just aren’t enough people going out to see live music.”
Steve makes a great point, and we fully endorse getting out there to see new bands live. It’s easy to imagine Fragile Things are pretty impressive live, so we asked them about the best gig they’ve played.
Steve said: “I think it’s got to be our show at the West Street Ale House in Sheffield. That was show was nuts. The vibe of the room was awesome and the crowd just went mad.
“At one point Richie was chatting to the crowd and really had them engaged when suddenly out of nowhere this guy steps forward. You could tell he was out of it, one too many beers or something, but he was wearing these flashing neon green glasses. He steps forward in the middle of Richie talking, places his hand on his and Richie just stares at him. The room is just staring like ‘what the hell is this guy doing?’ and Richie just casually starts talking to him. The guy says nothing, takes the glasses off and puts them on Richie and slowly backs away into the crowd never to be seen again. Thinking back, none of us had even seen him before that, he just appeared out of nowhere, did that and left.”
We, for sure, will be doing all we can to see Fragile Things live. The band has all the qualities to, in their words, “bring British rock back to the top.” The vocals are superb and there’s huge guitar solos and big riffs aplenty – what more could we possibly want?
The band are heading back into the studio in December and told us we can expect to see them in ‘some fairly well-known venues’ around the UK in 2017, which is certainly something to get excited about.