Good music leaps out of the speakers with an unmistakable vitality that is magnified when it finds a sympathetic resonance in the listener. From the moment I pressed play, I loved “The Howl and the Whisper”, the debut full length album from Ottawa’s Fools of Love (the band released a 7-track EP in 2015, under the name “Wild Love”). It’s 11 well-written rock songs, beautifully produced and recorded by Cory Bergeron (Safe to Say, Heavy Hearts, PINE) at Pebble Studios.
The band draws influence from classic rock artists, while wrapping that sound in a modern rock aesthetic. I hear a resemblance to Nickleback at times, but don’t hold it against them: it’s mostly due to the vocal delivery of singer/guitarist Adam Feibel, especially on the more rocking tracks. The songs all follow their own blueprint though, and together, they form a diverse record that ranges from ballads to quasi-industrial metal at the end of “Down By the Lake”, and it’s not as off-putting as you’d think.
“Fix Yourself” is another standout, with its 90’s grunge groove topped with a spirited guest vocal performance by DeeDee Butters of The PepTides. “Heavy Head” and “Golden Age” are straight out rockers with catchy choruses, that show Fools of Love at their best.
But the band is also at ease bringing it down, and the mellower material is generally just as good. The album, despite its faux record wear on the cover, doesn’t sound all that vintage (or vintage isn’t as old as it used to be). It’s a good slice of modern rock that you can blast in your car, or at a party, and the material probably goes down great live. It’s good summertime rock, and it’ll be in rotation in my playlists for a while.