christian fitness, i am scared of everything that isn’t me

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Andy “Falco” Falkous—founding member of the now-defunct Welsh post-hardcore outfit Mclusky and lead singer of alternative weight-lifters Future Of The Left—recently lost his day job. The implications of a notable musician being in two notable bands and still having to have a day job aside (fuck you, music biz), unemployment gave Falkous the extra time and motivation to record an album under a new moniker, wryly and un-Google-ably named “christian fitness”. The album is titled i am scared of everything that isn’t me, and it’s not for the faint of heart or unsound of mind.

A more eclectic and slightly more melodic turn from the downtuned alt-rock of Future Of The Left, christian fitness finds Falkous channeling influences in canonical fashion. “aghast, anew, anon”, the album’s opener, sounds like it belongs somewhere between DIIV’s Oshin and British new wave (but given Falkous’ Welsh roots, I’m leaning towards the latter)—at least until the song’s midsection makes askew any consonance in favor of a feedback solo. Despite the song’s early melodic leanings, it quickly becomes clear that i am scared of everything that isn’t me is going to be full of dissonance and weirdness. And in case the first track wasn’t strange enough, “soft power itches” plays with prickly guitar leads and the refrain, “I’ve never seen a Diet Coke/In the hands of an action man,” before somehow evolving into a Radiohead-channeling guitar climax. The album is incredibly fluid in this regard, bouncing from musical theme to musical theme, each one noisier and more eccentric than its predecessor. At times, the only thing that seems to hold the album together is Falkous’ absurdist lyrics.

Even before listening for the lyrics, you get song titles like “feel good hit of the second trimester” (a play on the Queens of the Stone Age song) and “attack of the 50 foot side project” (a noise punk song if there ever was one, combining aspects of Death From Above 1979 and hardcore guitar, but a word of Falkous’ can’t actually be understood). Even the name of the album, i am scared of everything that isn’t me, is sardonic in its solipsistic approach to indulgence and fear. On “carthage must be destroyed”, over sitcom-intro “bah bah bahs,” Falkous sings, “Carthage must be destroyed/For all it represents/A present for our future selves/A funeral for our parents/It knows our deepest secrets”–with each verse, the lyrics become progressively dissociated with Carthage-the-place and more about how the speaker feels about Carthage-the-senseless-threat. But as Falkous declares on i am scared of everything that isn’t me‘s titular track, “Cynicism is brilliant; cynicism is great!” Just something to keep in mind while listening to the off-kilter world Falkous constructs with christian fitness.

i am scared of everything that isn’t me is out now via christian fitness’s Bandcamp.