Radar Band Of The Week – No. 30: Fixers

Fixers: Foals’ fellow freaks set sail for the stormy waters of post-pop

Oxford’s sudden transformation from brainiac centre of the universe to rock’n’roll centre of the universe has not been a clean break with the past; these new bands springing up in the city are notable for the massive pulsating heads wobbling atop their skinny hip waggling. The latest band to emerge from between Foals’ House Of Supreme Mathematics and the manifesto-bleating Blessing Force scene is Fixers, who look the most capable of thinking their way to break-out success with their avant-garde take on The Beach Boys.

The band, who’ve been together for just over a year, were initially formed for a one-off show last Christmas and consists of keyboard-playing frontman Jack Goldstein, who “looks like a Quentin Blake illustration”, Roo Bhasin on guitar, Christopher Dawson, their other “slick-as-fuck guitarist” [hmmm – Ed], Michael ‘Fish’ Thompson the drummer and bassist Jason Warner. In an Oxford pub, sporting soaking wet jeans after their manager just spilt something on him, the verbose Jack is considering the eclectic range of influences going into the psychedelic world of Fixers. “Brian Wilson, Van Dyke Parks, Kate Bush…” Roo chips in: “Cocteau Twins, Vanilla Fudge… and there’s some amazing stuff from Cambodia pre-1975.” Of course there is.

Yet despite this lofty mix, the band’s tunes, especially when played live, are mostly reminiscent of Animal Collective playing MGMT, with hooks aplenty, big beats and some stunning four-part harmonies. It’s weird, it’s experimental, but it’s also instantly addictive. Jack considers, “I like the idea that if people don’t listen to Japanese pop music, stuff that people would call leftfield, then they still might like our music because it can still be seen as pop music.”

And as such, the band have found themselves at the centre of your typical label bidding war, but their first proper release, ‘Amsterdam’, out on Young & Lost in February, is a taste of delights to come; it’s ethereal, Eno-esque but also ’80s stadium pop massive. Jack, already known for his impressive collection of wooly jumpers, insists he’s purely focused on getting his music as close to that of Todd Rundgren’s as possible. Jason says, “There’s something of the past, the present and the future in the sound we’re trying to create.” Fixers may even have surprised themselves in the way they’ve managed to catch one almighty populist shark with it.

Need To Know

• The Rapture and Massive Attack producer Tim Goldsworthy mixed their upcoming first single, ‘Amsterdam’

• Frontman Jack has lovely, long, “amazing” fingers

• They want to record their album in space. They think their amps will still work in a vacuum

This article originally appeared in the December 11 issue of NME

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