Sam Fender’s debut album ‘Hypersonic Missiles’ lives up to all the hype and build-up, and then some. It’s a stunning blend of wit, thoughtfulness, raw emotion and rare natural songwriting talent.
Geordie boy Fender has taken an interesting route into the public consciousness, as an undeniable indie rock act who has appeared in more pop circles than indie in his short career.
That being said, his lyrical style is certainly in keeping with the social and political conscience that has, quite rightly, come to the forefront of guitar music and breathed new life into it in recent times.
Whilst a wealth of issues are tackled across the record, the title track is the undoubtedly the flagship. Demonstrating cutting, smart lyrics set to a hugely catchy melody and performed with tons of emotion, there’s not much more you can ask for from a lead single.
Fender does a wonderful line in roaring, upbeat singles- ‘Will We Talk?’ and ‘That Sound’ have the singalong quality and the topical substance, and are examples of that most precious of talents; packing a just a few words with heaps of meaning.
A lot is brave and risky about ‘Hypersonic Missiles’, not least putting such a moving trio of tracks (‘The Borders’, ‘White Privilege’ and ‘Dead Boys’) so early on in the album. It could easily have left you feeling a little gloomy, but instead it’s totally enthralling. The story of ‘The Borders’ is particularly gut-wrenching and brilliant.
‘Hypersonic Missiles’ does exactly what it should do; explore ideas whilst keeping a strong backbone of familiarity throughout. Orchestral instrumentation adds flavour to most of the tracks without ever getting too much, allowing Fender to explore a whole raft of superb guitar tones celebrating the last 50-odd years of rock music.
Sam Fender leaves every new listener wishing they’d heard him before he made it big with this incredible album. ‘Hypersonic Missiles’ is a total triumph; combining a huge popular appeal with an ability to talk eloquently about what’s really important on this planet of ours.