Far Below Perfect - I've Been To Hell Before... - Stereo Stickman

Far Below Perfect I’ve Been To Hell Before…


Today’s the day boys and girls – California pop-punk troubadour Fritz, known to the scene as Far Below Perfect, launches the potentially iconic indie album I’ve Been To Hell Before…

Eight original tracks make up this high-energy and distinctive project, a fusion of new songs and some from an older EP. We begin with the instantly energising nostalgia and togetherness of Give Me A Hey!, before moving swiftly into the infectious and, frankly, unforgettable anthem Isn’t Life Grand?

With no trouble at all, Far Below Perfect captures attention and that inherent longing for the simpler days of Tony Hawks gaming and pop-punk freedom and escapism. The days when Blink 182 and Green Day reigned the festival stages, and inspired a sense of aptly ‘punk’ opposition to the norm. This project reignites that feeling of freedom and passion, but not by way of simply copying – far from it.

The songwriting is superb throughout I’ve Been To Hell Before… – something made clear from the shift into a fiercely fast-paced Where’s Your Hero Now? and the subsequent darker metal tones of Unbroken. Far Below Perfect sets the mood with creativity and purpose, writing songs that are both fun and intriguing, and performing with a lyrical and literal voice that’s ultimately unmistakable once it’s crossed your path.

For April’s Fool, a song that came to Fritz in part during a dream, we shift into a wholly yesteryear storytelling and joyful format – a sound that feels genuinely like a slept-on classic from a simpler era. The hook is intensely infectious as ever, and the higher noted delivery works brilliantly in unison with these revealing and vulnerable lyrics.

After this, Headaches returns to the subtly grunge-kissed sound of Unbroken – a thoughtful and poetic style connecting for its raw humanity, and the heavy fuzz of the music reinforcing that connection by immersing the listener in the moment. Versatility is a clear strength of the writing on this album, and despite Fritz’ apparent humility when talking about songwriting, all eight tracks are something to write home about, in my opinion.

For the penultimate moment, Far Below Perfect brings back the optimism and sheer energy. Be Fri Or St End reflects with memories that are personal but relatable, and the pace and hopeful presence of the song is quick to lift the mood of the room. Fritz’ has a fine way of balancing the melancholic and the positive, in a manner that feels generally soaked in possibility but also occasionally heartbreaking in its realism.

To finish, On My Own masters the musical space, presenting a notably arena-ready fullness of wave-like power chords, alongside a profoundly personal yet again perhaps broadly relatable story of breaking away from a chain of unsatisfying experiences. Fritz had performed in numerous bands before starting Far Below Perfect, a level of experience that shines brightly on this album, and in the end the aspiring front-man realised that the solo pathway was the ultimate empowering and freeing decision for his unwavering creative ambition.

An absolute joy to let play, in short – evocative and honest, at times deeply moving and thought provoking, but mostly just awakening, enjoyable, and nostalgic in its purity and power. The album is out April 26th on all platforms – stream it loud and make sure to tell your friends, and read our interview with Far Below Perfect for more information.

Find Far Below Perfect on Facebook & Instagram.

Rebecca Cullen

Founder & Editor

Founder, Editor, Musician & MA Songwriter

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