- Michelle Breeze: Vocals
- Dominic Forrest: Guitars
- Jeremy Daniel: Bass
- Croc E Moses: Drums
- David Fiene: Keyboards
You have to be brave to call your band
and debut album 'Fetish'. Among the various definitions of the
word fetish is "something evoking irrational devotion or respect".
So here we have a Cape Town band who have in a short time
evoked quite some devotion and respect except, in their case,
it is anything but irrational.
Fetish are a five person band with Michelle Breeze writing all the
lyrics, handling the vocals and providing the focal point for, well,
let's look at another definition of fetish to answer that one:
"something abnormally stimulating or attracting sexual desire".
That, in a nutshell, is Michelle Breeze. From initially being a shy,
no eye contact, singing softly through her fringe-type vocalist,
Breeze has blossomed into a confident singer who is obviously
enjoying singing her thoughts and simultaneously milking the
rapture of her adoring, and growing, flock of devoted fans. It's
tempting to try and pinpoint her influences but comparing her to
Siouxsie or Beth Gibbons from Portishead would be
semi-accurate but unfair because this is a songstress who is
carving her own legend.
The album, which was produced, engineered and recorded by
Malcolm Aberdein and Brian Sepel, contains twelve tracks which
are all individual in style and feel yet as a whole all illustrate the
wondrous chemistry that exists between the words and the
music. Dominic Forrest on guitar and David Fiene on keyboards
provide tight and complimentary backdrops of sound to Breeze's
vocals. Jeremy Daniels (bass) and Croc E. Moses (drums)
underpin the melodies with a solid and understated beat. The
initial 1000 copies of the album are all packaged in a different
fabric covering and have a number on the box which only shows
up under a UV light.
The album kicks off with the single 'Never Enough', which
charted at no.6 on 5FM's chart. It's a frothy, gothy
song with keyboard and guitar licks swirling around the vocals,
building to a strident chorus and then dropping back into a soft
ominous swirl. 'Motherhush', 'Blue Blanket' and 'No Time' all
illustrate the strong arrangements and crafted synchronicity
between the instruments and vocals that create the beautiful
yet ominous sound of Fetish. 'pc' is more acoustic and talks
about "Jesus coming back and being crucified again or broadcast
on the Internet". Now there's a thought!
'Mist' and 'Smoke' are atmospheric with sound effects rippling
through the songs to emphasise the titles. On 'Heat' Michelle
sings: "Wheels turn and we learn that the sun has become the
enemy". While this could be interpreted as a Goth credo, the
music is too sweet to assume anything else but that tanning is
bad for you. 'Fetish' is highly recommended for its strong songs,
evocative vocals and lyrics and for the fact that it grabs you by
the collar and forces you to listen to it obsessively to uncover
all its layers. It is best summed up by a third dictionary derived
definition:. "An object worshipped as magical by primitive
peoples". You have been warned!
Stephen Segerman, SA Rock Digest #27, August 1999