Formed in 2013, Braver Than Fiction are a five-piece fronted by Mel (they don't advise surnames on their sites), who's been a singer-songwriter in a number of projects for many years, guitarist Martin, bass player Adam, keyboard player Jason and drummer Paul. Their line up was quite fluid in the early days of the year or so they've been together but they now seem settled on this one and have recorded a set of original material that forms the basis of their live show.
King Of Crows is a live EP, recorded direct to tape and showcases a diverse mix of sounds and influences. There's a classic signature organ sound that propels the title track, Candle-blind and Mr Jones (Fear Of Falling) along, allowing the guitar and bass space to roam throughout the songs rather than being relied on for their basic structure. They feel like free-form workouts as a result, part of a natural method of creation rather than a regimented song writing process.
Once Bitten, Twice Shy weighs in at six minutes thirty and in another time would be marked down as a Northern Soul classic, although the lyrics are a dark anthesis of the optimistic love songs of that genre "come on now tell me that you love me, and I will show you a lie, because you, you are the cheating kind".
Mel's vocals demonstrate a similar approach and showcase a considerable range of vocals - taking us on a journey from Northern Soul diva, through sixties Jefferson Airplane psychedelia to a throaty almost Tom Waits-esque rasp - and this diversity allows them to stand out from the crowd. The four songs across the EP, whilst sounding diverse as individual tracks, work perfectly as a whole.
The EP follows up their debut track Your Little Fantasy which was revealed late last year.
King Of Crows is out now and available as a four-track physical CD and three-track download from their bandcamp page (we love the fact they're supporting real media still).
Braver Than Fiction play the following shows :
Sunday August 24th - Dove and Rainbow, Sheffield
Wednesday September 10th - The Green Room, Sheffield
Saturday September 13th - Magners Original Sessions, Manchester
Wednesday October 8th -The Washington, Sheffield
Friday October 17th - The South Sea, Sheffield
Wednesday November 19th - International Guitar Festival of Great Britain, Wirral