Fashanu - Science Is Awesome (Discount Horse)

The city of Durham has produced a mighty fine slab of punk rock, by way of Gainsville, Florida, incorporating the essence of punk DIY aesthetic.

Released Oct 17th, 2010 via Discount Horse / By Peter Clark
Fashanu - Science Is Awesome (Discount Horse) If you’re unfamiliar with the underground punk label based in Durham, Discount Horse Records has been delivering some mighty fine records for the past 3 years, and continues to garner an excited following of fans yearning for a scene reminiscent of Gainsville, Florida, or Long Beach, California, where bands from the city live and breathe a punk aesthetic and put out quality music on a low cost, DIY methodology, much to those-in-the-know’s benefit.

Getting much support and justified praise come Fashanu (named after Justin Fashanu, a prominent footballer who came out as gay in 1990, aged 20, and took his own life in 1998. Read more about it here) with their sing-along beauty of a record, Science Is Awesome. Similarities are easily thrown up with bands from across the Atlantic such as Latterman and the dozens of bands they have influenced/spawned. But there is always a clear difference between a copyist band, and a one soaked in influence, and Fashanu are very much producing the goods on their own.

Instrumental, sampled opener ‘Gentle Ben’s Left-Handed Happy Hour’ sets the tone for the rest of the record as it’s punk-rock with influences from the uplifting moments steeped in many a post-hardcore band’s output at the beginning of this century, yet when ‘Spider Leg Toothpick’ exposes the vocals, it’s clear to see that Fashanu are a band out for a good time with fun guitar hooks that allow the listener to join in rather than just observe.

Closing track ‘Yoko Ono vs Bob Hoskins...Go!’ incorporates everything that is great about the band; clear and simple guitar progression, heartfelt, warm sing-along vocals, and an encompassing song structure that seems simple, yet works perfectly to keep the listener hooked with a smile smacked perfectly across the face.

Fashanu pretty much echo the excitement of their record label, and you soon begin to realise that it’s an excitement that you have to get on board with before it’s become just a distant underground memory. Fashanu are for fans of all DIY punk music.