The roots of Fumble go back as far as the early 90's and the Olari-skateboarding scene in Finland, a single and EP were recorded and a few shows played supporting the likes of All and Coffin Break before the band went their separate ways. This incarnation, put together by vocalist Rami and guitarist Onni, got off to a slow start together in 2003 and finally got things moving fully in early 2006 and since then have released an EP and toured internationally on 4 occasions. "Rise" is the debut full length album.
The generic pop-punk of "We Are On Fire" starts things off and is reminiscent of the Burning Hearts Records roster in the mid 90's. It has to be said that it's not the best opening track for an album and doesn't really grab your attention. "Don't Stop Now" is a much better song with decent melodies and some pleasing harmonies on the chorus. It's followed with the obligatory attempt at a snot nosed anthem of "Forgotten Hearts" and it's here that you start to realise that the album is mostly pop-punk by numbers. It's all fairly simplistic stuff which is not necessarily a bad thing but in a genre that's as overcrowded as this, a newer band really needs to come up with something special to stand out. The musicianship can't be faulted and the production is nice and clear, it's just the songs themselves, whilst they're not poor they're just average, nothing you haven't heard a hundred times before. The album continues in this uninspiring vein and by the closing title track, the interminably dull "Rise", came round I just wanted the album to finish.
The band certainly aren't resting up for another long break and have already started writing material for the next album which they are due to record in early 2009. Before that they are planning a European tour for late 2008 with dates in Spain being booked for late September. While there's plenty of talent to be found here there's just nothing to make them stand out from an already overly packed pop punk crowd and as such I find it hard to recommend.
by John Baxter
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