Status Unknown is the platform for the songs of Lee Fender, who sings, plays rhythm guitar and wrote the tunes for this, their first, four song offering. Also noteworthy is the fact that this is his first band, having previously performed his songs for close friends and family only. Hats off, that man. There’s a hint of nervousness herein that you expect with debut recordings and this, coupled with the off-the-shelf line-up (vocals, guitars, bass and drums), imbues it with a whiff of pub rock. With that said, there are definite and numerous points of genuine potential; the menacing, post-punk intro to ‘Light in the Dark’ evokes Patti Smith and P.J.Harvey, and the slower sections of ‘Fool Outta You’ sound almost like the ‘quiet’ sections in the Pixies’ much pondered ‘loud-quiet-loud’ equation. Despite this splash of more diverse influences, the floppy fringe of Suede drapes over too much of the material; the vocal delivery on ‘Fool Outta You’ adheres very much to Brett Anderson’s sneering prototype, and the twiddly guitar figure is very Bernard Butler (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, given his own distillation of Johnny Marr). All in all, this a very good first chukka – the production and execution are up there, and the songwriting, while still taking it’s cue from a limited source, has enviable potential. I reckon they’re definitely worth the bus fare to see them gig, and I look forward to their next recording. Emanuel Shadrack.
Lower Class Pursuits is available now on itunes, amazon and via the band. To find out more about Status Unknown, follow them at www.facebook.com/StatusUnknownBand
Status Unknown play Sheffield’s O2 Academy on 22nd February.