The Fabricators, based in South London, consist of Plymouth school friends and guitarists, James Matejka and Mark Beckett, alongside Marcus Aitken on drums and James’s younger brother- Joe, on bass. Referring to themselves as being a band within the post-punk genre, they were once coined as ‘caramelised punk’. A reference many people may not typically be familiar with, the easiest way to describe them is be to regard them as having a small wedge of everything great spanning from rock through to pop. For this reason, it is incredibly hard not to like them.
If you try and compare the band to one particular act, you’ll probably struggle. But consider this; subtle traces of the Arctic Monkeys guitar riffs and punchy drum beats seep through before a word is even ushered in ‘Jangly Rob’, with this high tempo proving to be a captivating set up for the chorus and the remainder of the song. Even elements of The Kaiser Chiefs appear in some of song’s bridges at times. Again, this might be surprising for a band that is considered ‘caramelized post-punk’ but these small aspects are what work well and mark them within this genre, especially when complemented with their strong bass lines, fitting drum beats and quirky lyrics that are consistent throughout their set.
The band had a stellar opportunity to showcase their music live at one of their February gigs. James, the lead vocalist showcases a powerful presence throughout their entire sets, and with this he establishes himself as a clear front man early on. However, it is the powerful combination of all the members that really highlights their capabilities and potential to make it big. The build up in ‘Criminal Prose’ only emphasises the perfect combination of the four boys, with an initial slow, well-crafted escalation to a high tempo, ballsy and aggressive bass and drum line. This is something they pull off incredible live in comparison to their newly released EP, ‘Junction To The Jail’. Mark manages to layer in his own vocals during this perfect amalgamation of instrumental expertise from them all. Whilst again, this complements the others well, it also adds another well-rounded dynamic to their character. These vocals though, by the outro are let down to a degree by the levels in the venue, and thus become barely comprehendible. For such a small part of the song though, it doesn’t even taint what was on the whole a fantastic song and does justice to the recording.
A new song, not featured on the EP was showcased too. It contained everything you’d expect, and would not have looked out of place on ‘Junction To The Jail’, which was released in December 2017. The brash bass is probably one of the most underrated aspects in both this track and arguably all of their work for that matter. The way Joe uses it to seamlessly blend with the guitars is fantastic and simply adds gloss to their material. This is only highlighted by the time ‘Anteroom’ is performed, which quite possibly remains one of the standout songs from the EP. It’s over a minute before James utters a word, yet the undertones of the bass in the background partnered with the two guitars keep the suspense building, which doesn’t fail to impress by the time the drums make an entrance and the = chorus hits. Metaphors are littered in this chorus, as well as most of their other songs, with ‘mushroom cloud of ideas’ being used, unsurprisingly acting as a lyrical hook.
To say that the performance was well polished would be accurate. However, there was in fact one minor blip a quarter of the way through the gig whereby Joe encountered an issue with his bass amp, prompting a song restart. This is to be expected of course, and in fact it gave a moment to add in an even more ‘real’ feeling to the set. It shouldn’t be forgotten that the bands have, surprisingly, yet to breakthrough and establish themselves as a big act whereby live issues are non-existent. Not just yet, anyway…
Having only listened to their EP, finally being able to see them live greatly surprised my expectations. They without a doubt showcased themselves as a professional outfit. Their live performances still carried the same atmosphere; it wasn’t just contained in their recorded work.
Written by Gemma Pollard