When I first saw the email in which this album was submitted for review, I wondered about the genre. I usually do that, just for fun. I don't read or listen anything yet. Instead I try to guess what it would sound like, knowing only the bandname and the album title. Usually my guesses are quite right, often even right on the spot. But this time, boy was I wrong. I expected something synthpop or electronics-like but not this... definately not this.
Fashion Week, a band from New York, play a style of music that I don't know very well. Only on festivals like Incubate or as support acts I encounter this powerful noise rock. Besides, I think this is also the best place to enjoy this music. The experimental and aggressive style is played with so much energy and intensity that it can easily transform a cosy living room into utter chaos. The majority of the eight songs on Prêt-À-Porter is very heavy, leaning towards sludge and post-hardcore, both in music and in the screaming vocals. The few calm passages only function as haunting announcers for more noise and chaos.
Yet, it is clear that the members of Fashion Week are skilled musicians who know a great deal about getting the maximum out of their instruments. Beneath the layers of noise appear fragments of excellent songwritership. Some of the songs sound like a rougher, dirtier version of Tool or Deftones but in other songs fragments from Helmet or Unsane come shining through. 'Klosstrophobia' could have been written by Linkin Park on a good day. Maybe it's the mix of clean vocals and core screams or the underlying fragments of music genius that make this album so interesting, and there lies a strange little shift in the album's power.
After a few listens, and almost deciding that this music is solely meant for live purposes, I find myself digging into the songs. Listening to the highly weird and experimental '_FASHION_=~S_(_$)_COLLAPSE_GSO;' I catch myself thinking about the old Ministry and Nine Inch Nails sounds. Suddenly Prêt-À-Porter is no longer a chaotic noiserock album but something that continously crosses the lines between alternative rock, nu-metal, noise and indie rock, hardcore and sludge. Now, about five spins later, I've started growing into this blend of bizarre and heavy sounds.
This album needs either to grow on the listener (in the living room) or immediately slap him the face (on stage) to truly convince. I'm no longer sure which is the best way to give Fashion Week a shot but I do recommend checking them out. These are talented and experienced musicians who know how to write a decent song and then hide in under tons of noise, a rare quality that needs to be nourished.