In the famous Tom Hanks movie Forrest Gump, life is compared to a box of chocolates: full of variety and surprise, sweet and salty. On their latest project, Oklahoma rock band Fight The Fade has a box of musical chocolate to offer, full of variety in sound and theme.
In Love. In Hope. In Peace. offers something for everyone, from acoustic and melodic to hard rock and even a little bit of southern rock added in for good measure. Lyrically, the album doesn’t rest in one place, but rather explores themes that offer love to the unloved, peace in times of trial and unrest, and hope when life feels hopeless.
Not unlike dynamic artwork, there is a canvas full of contrast offered by opening ballad “Don’t Say” which bleeds into techno rocker “Everything Is Fine?” The spoken vocals are mixed with a techno beat, while thematically this song poses the simple question of how the world can keep moving on when things don’t seem right.
The band delves into a more grunge and alternative vibe on a song that tackles the challenge of bringing our whole self to a relationship in the hardest times. “What’s Left” features the full range available to vocalist Zene Smith and powerful beats provided by drummer Alyssa Worth.
“Over & Over” and “Consumed” seem to be the crossroads where passionate messaging meet the musical sweet spot for Fight The Fade. The raw emotion and presence shows up at this juncture of the project. On “Over & Over,” there is a feeling of being trapped and searching for identity in a cycle before finally breaking through. On “Consumed,” the band lets it all go with their heaviest vocals on the album as they explain that “What’s worth fighting for is worth fighting for / let yourself be consumed.“
In keeping with the tendency towards diversity throughout, they don’t stay at that level for long. The band dives deep emotionally on their love song and ballad “Heart,” offering their heart for the taking, while “Feelings” explores what it is like to sacrifice self for a loved one.
The album becomes almost experiential when Fight The Fade leverages their programming and mixology skills to create a sound to match “Underwater.” The energy is turned up for “Wild Ones,” a declaration of youthful energy and boldness. Perhaps the best song on the album follows with a southern rock feel. “Devil” is a song about avoiding various temptations.
“She’s the devil and she’s coming after me
She’s the devil and it’s not gonna be pretty”.
Though this is a departure from the highly technical hard rock Fight The Fade has delivered in the past, there are plenty of heavy moments throughout the album, including on closer “The Answer,” which features plenty of unclean vocals on the chorus.
In Love. In Hope. In Peace. has enough hard rock for returning fans and musical variety that will capture fans of rock, pop, and anyone who enjoys hooky melodies and steady beats. Fight The Fade delivers musically while providing lyrical themes that offer messages of love, hope, and peace to all areas of life.