Personally, I had never heard of General Fiasco until about 6 months ago, but they’ve been together since 2007 and touring shortly after. After coming across one of their singles by chance, on none other than MTV2, I was intrigued by their sound and made a mental note of their name and song in my head. Thinking it was just a one-off song, and that would be the end of their existence in my head, the Northern Irish trio appeared back on MTV2 with another single. Then, researching the band, I find out they have an album coming out in the next couple of weeks, and anticipation kicks in. Releasing Buildings on March 22nd 2010, General Fiasco are well on their way to having a successful year, supporting Snow Patrol on their homecoming tour. Now we’re up to date, is Buildings up to scratch?

Fortunately, in my opinion, yes. We Are The Foolish kicks off the album, the song I first heard by them. This song is perfect for beginning their album, starting it off with a bang. The lead singer, Owen Strathern, has an interesting voice which really sticks in your head. Mix that with group cheers, epic guitar riffs and a killer melody, and you’ve got a killer song. Continuing from strength to strength, their second single I heard Ever So Shy begins with “Let’s get wasted, it’s all we ever do”. I love the guitar in the background of the verses. And when the chorus kicks in, you will have extreme trouble in trying to get it out of your head. This is a perfect song if you need something to kick up the volume and travel to. Please Take Your Time is the third song, and on the contraire to the title, it doesn’t take any time in kicking in. The real highlight is the chorus, where it really takes off. Both singing, back-up vocals and guitar/drums work perfectly together to create something great. Added points for a guitar solo also! Taking down the tempo from the explosive start, Buildings, the title track, shows their versatility. The chorus is atmospheric and strong, with the verses providing a perfect build up to it. I love when Strathern uses his upper register on the final lines “no-one will feel like you do”. I’m Not Made Of Eyes brings the tempo back, but I feel only begins as a song when the chorus begins. Yes, the beginning verses are good, but the mini bridge before the chorus, which feels like you’re being whispered to – although no whispering takes place – doesn’t quite work for me. The next track is probably my favourite from the album. Sinking Ships starts off on the acoustic guitar, having a really catchy chorus which will have you humming the melody. But the real surprise that’s in store, is the use of strings instruments. I loved the addition of the strings. I never expected violins or the real orchestral feel you get from this song. I think it was pure genius. And Owen also demonstrates his full vocal range, going from his lower register, through his upper register, to his falsetto range. Originally their very first single back in 2008, Rebel Get By has the tough act to follow the previous song. Although it doesn’t measure up to it, not that I thought a song would, the verses are upbeat leading into a slower chorus. Unfortunately I’m not quite enjoying the chorus as much as the verses, but that just shows the quality of their verses throughout this song. Talk To My Friends has me undecided in my opinions of the song. I do really enjoy the “this should be easy on you” bridges, and the chorus after, and I do enjoy how Strathern’s voice sounds throughout the verses. But I feel the “talk to my friends” part is anti-climatic and rather adds a deflated feeling to the song. Sort of like climbing up a mountain, reaching the top, but falling off straight away. Maybe not the best metaphor in the world, but I hope you understand what I mean. Thankfully, the next song restores hope back into the album, not that all hope was lost at all. Dancing With Girls has a perfect arrangement, showcasing the way they SHOULD have done it in previous songs. When the chorus gets into Owen’s upper, screech range, that is when the real magic happens. First Impressions has one of those choruses that I love. Loud, not in a bad way, and melodic. And towards the end of the song is the real gem. A simple melody repeated over and over which will, no doubt, be a crowd pleaser during live shows. And it’s just such a pleasure to the ears, not one of those failing attempts at a repetitive melody. Moving onto the two bonus tracks you get when purchasing from iTunes, Start At The Top, which, in my opinion, should not have been a bonus track. The chorus is a killer “..and I know, I know, we all get a little scared sometimes..” following into a falsetto “woo” which is pure magic. Finally, a previous single released towards the beginning of 2009, and charting on the UK Indie chart at #2, Something Sometime. And rightly so. It also shouldn’t have been an extra track for specific iTunes users. The whole song keeps me hooked in from start to finish. “Take a little more, take a little more” throughout the chorus will definitely be a lyric you won’t help sing along to during the song.

Hearing this band by chance was a touch of luck that I’m thankful for. If it wasn’t for flicking through music channels, I wouldn’t have heard this band, nor purchased the album. So far, it’s definitely one of my favourites of the year so far. Only 3 months in, and hearing a limited amount of albums doesn’t say much for the album, but I’m sure by the end of the year, it’ll be up there, not necessarily as the best album of 2010, but it should be one of my top 10! General Fiasco, I think, are going to have a big year. 9/10