Failure is a band I first encountered many years ago now, over a decade at this point. And there is just something fantastic about them, from the way they’ve created space sounds, segues and more, the fact they’re not as big as household names from the 90s is still hard to process even now. But that doesn’t mean they haven’t left an impact on the music scene. There’s a saying I’ve seen go around a lot about Failure which is that they’re your “favourite bands, favourite band” which I think is a great way to put it, if not a little detrimental but I think we can look past that because Failure’s talent is amazing. And once you know that signature sound, you’ll be hearing its influences all over your favourite band’s discographies.
Another Space Song is perhaps one of their most well-known songs, and for christ sake why wouldn’t it be? I mean just listen to that filthy fat bass tone there, or that glistening guitar to accompany it. Deep distorted bass, psychedelic and prog rock soundwaves that their influence can be heard among bands such as Muse and Paramore (Particularly with Paramore’s Future).
The band had been making noise since their debut album in 1992, through the years releasing 3 stellar albums, including the iconic 1996 record Fantastic Planet, but had a break up just one year later. During the time of their hiatus the band members all went on to do different things, frontman Ken Andrews going on to work as a highly sought after music producer (and I mean it’s clear why). Fellow member of the band Troy Van Leeuwen was invited to join rock giant Queens Of The Stone Age which is where you’ll find him even now. But after the decade long break, Andrews, Greg Edwards and Kellii Scott all got back together and decided to give this old thing another last spin, releasing 2015s The Heart Is A Monster, showing once again that the sounds of Failure are not one to be trifled with. Just go listen to the monstrous headbanger The Focus (which needs to be blasted on full volume), Hot Traveller or the nightmarish Counterfeit Sky. Whichever way you go you’ll be in for a treat I’ll just put it that way.
In 2018 the band dropped brand new album In The Future Your Body Will Be the Furthest Thing from Your Mind, that further showed how Failure’s know well-known sound can be strayed from to construct a phantom frenzy of a sonic experience that you only get with a band as dedicated as Failure. Maintaining that speed and ecstasy of 90’s grunge and prog rock, but also delving into cleaner sounds here and there, like the somewhat David Bowie Blackstar inspired instrumentation of Dark Speed.
I’m going to leave you with Stuck On You from Fantastic Planet. A song that has been covered countless times and well, I think it’s very deserved to be heralded at such a level by committed fans of it. A slow and heavy tune that brings you right back to the ’90s but completely reminding you as to how futuristic Failure’s Fantastic Planet really was.