There has been a great deal of anticipation for Fury’s sophomore LP, Failed Entertainment, since its announcement as their Run for Cover debut. Releasing a follow-up record to something as succinct, strong and era-defining as Paramount was to be no easy task, but the Orange County ensemble did their sequel justice and wrote something interesting for any level of hardcore fan. Whether you’re new to Fury but have a history of enjoying other Run for Cover artists or you’re steeped in the history of hardcore from its inception to present, Failed Entertainment has something to pique your interest.
A fair amount of Supertouch vibes can be found throughout the record, but as a middle of the road hardcore fan, what interested me most was trying to discern the influences that came from outside the genre. I’d love to pick the brain of any of the members and see what they were looking towards in order to craft what I can tell is a cross section between two worlds. I think some of the value in this record is found in the dynamic that it isn’t easy to put into a particular box.
Is Failed Entertainment a hardcore record? Is it a rock record? It’s both. It’s the kind of music that you could see on a tour package with something as abrasive as S.H.I.T., something as traditional as Terror or something with as much mainstream appeal as Dinosaur Jr. I believe these are the markings of a good record, because the range of impact is vast as opposed to niche.
Fury does a great job of interspersing their more hardcore rooted tracks such as “America” or “Lost in the Funhouse” between songs that explore their new sound such as “Birds of Paradise” or “New Years Days." As I listened to the record I continually thought “I wonder what the vibe is going to be next?” keeping me engaged and interested. A detail I took note of and enjoyed was the melodic nature of the record that didn’t sound like it was biting or ripping off the sound of say the PNW area of the early '00s. It comes off as familiar but new, a hard feat to achieve.
My favorite song was “Inevitable Need to Reach Out” a more mosh centric track, but also the first one that got me to start looking up the lyrics, because I found the title so interesting. Jeremy Stith is a very knowledgeable and particular lyricist, but sometimes the poetic aspect of many Fury songs leaves me with more questions than answers; one of my few complaints with the record.
Delving even further into this lane, the track “New Years Eve (Melbourne)” is a poem that from what I can tell is an original, with lines recited by many individuals that I’m sure are close with the Fury camp (I believe the only voice I could actually pick out was that of Pat Flynn, but I would love to see a list of everyone that spoke on this). I found this to be something cool and different, perhaps even a nod to their Orange County forefathers, Uniform Choice, on the track “Silenced."
Failed Entertainment is a proper evolution in sound by comparison to Paramount and fits nicely along with the rest of the Run for Cover lineup, a move I initially questioned in regards to Fury but now completely understand considering the sound of the album. This is a record I would show someone brand new to hardcore, someone who has been around for decades or someone with limited knowledge of the genre at all. The record is utilitarian in all the right ways and one that I not only know I will be revisiting a fair amount, but one I look forward to doing so with.
Pick up a copy of Failed Entertainment directly from Run for Cover today.