Alter The Press!


Album Review: Fate of a Stranger - Plan A

Having only formed in 2008, Fate of a Stranger have achieved a surprising amount in the little time afforded to them. The Hertfordshire 5-piece have seemingly shared stages with every UK act on the scene, with support slots with Young Guns, Deaf Havana and Attack Attack to name just a few, as well as a slot at the 2010 Camden Crawl courtesy of Red Bull Bedroom Jam. Unfortunately, this success hasn't entirely made it's way onto new EP 'Plan A'.

The band don't wait around, opener 'Two Words' is upon you almost before you've lifted your finger off the play button. There are definite comparisons to be made with pre-'Hold Me Down' You Me At Six, in vocal style and general rhythm, something which the band may not have been aiming for, and perhaps wont appreciate. 'You Can't Argue With Maths', despite an excellent vocal range from frontman Owen Tilcock, stutters along. However, just as it threatens to become bland and repetitive, it is, out of nowhere, rescued by an epic, crashing final third that fully makes up for a drab beginning.

'Brand New Sky' feels empty, despite the obvious attempt at an edgier, more potent approach. The intensity is cranked up in places, but disappears in others, making for a confused sound, leaving to the track to limp to a less-than-dramatic finish. A brave, but decent attempt at a ballad follows. Lyrically sound, a sense of honesty really shines through on 'The Devil Makes Work For Idle Bands' which is a well delivered change in pace.

'How Wrong Was I' is the highlight of the EP, if maybe a minute too long, offering us a giant hook to get our teeth into, supported by gang vocals that really build tone of the song. You get a sense that the other tracks on the EP lacked this spark, and if the band had managed this quality throughout, we might just have a gem of a record on our hands.

There's so much to like about 'Plan A'. Fate of a Stranger have an enviable energy, a dynamism that has seen bands like We Are The Ocean and Deaf Havana take the UK by storm in recent years. However, there is unquestionably something missing. Impressive as some parts are, it's far from unique and on a scene littered with pop-tinged post-hardcore, that just might not cut it.


'Plan A' by Fate Of A Stranger is available now.

Official Website
Fate of a Stranger on MySpace, Twitter and Facebook.

Liam McGarry

Alter The Press!