Norman alt rock band The Fills released their debut EP, Negatives, today, April 24. Using influences like The Strokes, White Stripes, Nirvana, and Smashing Pumpkins, the band crafted a five-track EP showcasing their own unique sound.
The EP starts with the mellow, introspective sound of “Inverse.” The song is hazy and thoughtful, spilling musings while steadily tapping away the beat of a not-yet-fulfilled life.
Next up is the much faster “My Machine.” This track seems to belong in the build-up of an angst-y teen movie; the repeated mantra of “turn it up/it’s not a race/I’m thinking about the things that I’m gonna break” is the perfect score to the angry teen acting out – just before the peak of the film, before a lesson is learned. Not quite angry but definitely loud, the song gives of a good “get pumped” vibe.
“Less Like Heaven” follows with a quick, anxious tone. With vocals struggling to break through the swirling mist that is the instrumentals, the song is like fighting the ocean, swimming against the current. As the song progresses, it gets quicker, building up to the remark, “it feels less like heaven.” Then, instead of slamming on the brakes, the tempo slows only slightly; the song is fast to the end, skipping to the finish line, music still swirling in the waves.
“Moonshine” is second-to-last in the track list. A spinning song, the music broadcasts innermost thoughts of confusion and concern. With a melody that raises a hint of panic, the song sounds like a sung soliloquy – a pause in which the narrator takes a moment to explain the situation at hand while bracing themselves for hyperventilation.
Negatives ends with “Time is Our Worst Enemy.” Rather than singing a personal message, the song instead delves into the horrors of time. Labeling it as a nemesis, the track seems to lament the passing of time; ending with, “it’s over now,” cements the accusation, sealing away proof that time brought the end of something good. While this could just be in reference to the EP ending, or an allusion to the eventual crash of a failing relationship, the track could arguably refer to the inevitable end of innocence which is closely followed by the trials of independence.
Regardless of deeper meanings, the songs on Negatives are fine-tuned fragments of complex stories that have been crafted for the listeners’ pleasure.
Be sure to check out The Fills on all social media and music streaming sites, and listen to the new EP below: