Fearless Vampire Killers

Bruises

On Bruises, Fearless Vampire Killers abandon their fantastical proclivities to examine life’s secrets and darkness. Playing down their previous polarizing pomp, FVK deliver an honest, captivating collection that will speak to a broader audience while satisfying their faithful. Depressive realism looms heavy where the band once depicted the gruesome with a wink and smile. When co-vocalist Kier Kemp growls “It's our little secret now” in the adulterous “Feel Alive,” it no longer feels like a laughing matter. Similarly, co-vocalist Laurence Beveridge’s ruminating on suicidal thoughts in “Stepping Stones” induces unsettling dread. Despite bleak contents, the album isn’t agonizing: FVK’s “death pop” dazzles with upbeat, melodious technicality as they channel glam (“Regret”) and pop-punk-meets-musical-theatre on the standout “Keep Smiling,” which attacks the music industry with venom-dripping irony. Whether Bruises will send FVK international remains to be seen: If you haven’t been paying attention, it would be wise to start now. (4.5 stars)

Want more FVK? Pick up AP 328 for a full feature on the band.

Self-released http://www.fearlessvampirekillers.com/

“Keep Smiling”