Birmingham pop-rock quintet Everybody Looks Famous are probably set to take the UK by storm. They’ve got all the right combinations going on. Cute female vocalist? Check. Bouncy synths? Check. Perfectly polished riffs? Check. But therein lies the issue – Fuel To Fire is a saccharine, juvenile affair with plenty of style but very little substance.
It’s difficult to listen to any female-fronted pop-rock band and not draw comparisons to Paramore these days, and sadly, Everybody Looks Famous fall into that category. Vocalist Lex shows tons of potential on the more ballad-esque tracks, like ‘Fingerprints’ and ‘Stay With Me’, as her voice takes on more ethereal, breathy qualities, but she doesn’t have the power for the rock tunes and the generic hooks can’t carry her through it either. While you can tell that she’s not trying to emulate Williams, the guitar carries a lot of influence from early Paramore, but is far duller and safer in its approach. The saving grace of the album is the synths. They’re not spectacular, by any means, nor do they do much to innovate, but they make it feel like a more complete record. There’s a few songs on the album that stand out as ‘almost there’, such as ‘Fly’ and ‘Skinny Jeans’. They’re catchy, fun and start to reveal the promise that Everybody Looks Famous could well have. However, a closer listen to the lyrics results in typically immature and overdone teenage emotion. You write what you know, and not everyone can be Jesse Lacey or Tegan and Sara Quin, but the cliché that abounds throughout Fuel To Fire sounds so typically American and overtly sweet, so much so that none of it feels genuine in any way, shape or form.
All in all, if you’re fifteen years old, you’re going to love Everybody Looks Famous. There’s probably plenty for you to want to identify with, and Fuel To Fire slots in perfectly with the growth of the UK scene at the moment. But if you like your records a little rough around the edges, with some real emotional depth, then Everybody Looks Famous are best to be avoided.
2 out of 5 high fives!