Published Jan 01, 2006As anyone who's seen them play can attest, From Fiction are a real bunch of athletes. They've been both praised as high-energy math-rock commandants and misunderstood as self-involved loonies, but the fact remains, the guys really, really get into it.
"I don't know about you guys, but for me, the music it just makes me feel crazy. It kinda makes me nuts. That's a good thing," half-jokes bassist Owen Marchildon. As a testament to the callisthenic appeal of playing in From Fiction, Marchildon and drummer Rob Gordon bide their time elsewhere playing country (Marchildon's Purple Hill) and art folk (Gordon drums in Les Mouches), but love the musically disparate From Fiction just as much.
The band had been the subject of praise around Toronto circa the release of their eponymous first EP. For a while they seemed to disappear, but in reality the band were preparing their full-length debut with engineering impresario Steve Albini. "We expected an Albini-sounding record. We got that," says singer/guitarist Adam Barnes. The album, Bloodwork, is as punchy and virtuosic as their live show. As dense as the instrumental work is, every layer is audible and available for scrutiny, if you're up for the challenge. With their subsequent signing to artist-friendly star-making label Last Gang (Metric, Death From Above 1979), a conflict arises that has plagued artful bands from prog to post-rock times: how does a band with seven-minute but hard-hitting songs reach their audience?
"Half of them hate us, because they think we're trying to go over their heads," comments Barnes. "They think we're pompous. And the rest of them like it they think we sound like Mars Volta or something." Though From Fiction are not nearly as pompous as the Mars Volta, it's a fine example of the public accepting something more difficult than your average rock song. From Fiction have a lot to offer, live and on disc, and with tours ensuing, they'll make a lot of dynamic rock fans happy.