ALBUM REVIEW: Fashion Tips – I Wish You Every Success | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Human Worth

Released: 12.07.24







Image by David Hall

In a North East scene packed with accomplished newcomers, few phenomena in recent years have proved so compelling as the rapid, ravenous rise of Fashion Tips. Fuelled by tweaks in line-up and sound, the Gateshead outfit have channelled incendiary no-wave, dance punk and electroclash chaos into an unabashedly queer, proudly neurodivergent “sasscore” offensive, fostered during fearsome live shows and now granted full rein on an all-killer-no-filler debut.

Produced by Anthony Chapman (Collapsed Lung, Mclusky, Skinned Teen) and clocking just shy of 30 minutes, I Wish You Every Success highlights the quartet’s accelerated development following the recruitment of latest member Fiona Ireland. Infusing their sonic maelstrom with a fresh splash of samples and synthesised beats, her addition injects further freneticism to a palette already bursting at the seams with breakneck rhythm and sordid sonic excess. The sharp sarcasm of Steve Lamacq, for instance, is a neon-splattered revelation compared to the song’s earlier incarnations, while lead single Don’t Call Me sports the relentless thudding drive of a jacked-up drum and bass banger. Elsewhere, Lunched Out – the zealous standout from 2022’s Fucking Hell demo EP – is reprised in highly evolved form: faster, fuller and flush with furious digital punch.

Ireland’s contributions provide a perfect foil for vocalist Esmé Newman, whose growing confidence is reflected in a performance as forceful as it is frenzied, dripping scorn across a tracklist permeated by musings on “bad sex, bad drugs and bad people.” Both flourish amidst the cacophony raised by founding duo Liam Slack and Jorden Sayer – the former’s bass dispensed in distorted blotches, like ink splurged over fresh print, while the latter’s mangled guitar spurts offer a fiendish yet focused streak of noise rock masochism.

Scarier still, this quickfire eight-track assault may scarcely be scratching the surface of Fashion Tips’ full potential. For all its fresh impetus and rich replay value, I Wish You Every Success presents novel configurations of familiar numbers, most of which have been live staples for the past 18 months. But let’s not look too far ahead. After all, why hypothesise when, in the here and now, they’ve unleashed a scorching debut, substantiating their standing as our region’s fiercest, grooviest – and perhaps finest – emerging outfit.


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