Fractional Importance were the beginning for me. This band was the inspiration behind my passion for covering the Los Angeles music scene. The first time I saw Fractional play at the Coconut Teaszer, (I think it was?) I was given a demo that gave me a taste and a tease of their in-studio work. It was then, the first time I really listened to them on my own in the silence of my apartment, that I really felt the sound that sent my love for this band into overdrive.
The release of Visions, Fractional Importance’s truest moment in the spotlight other than their powerful live performances, is a masterful work with songs linked by a chain made of emotional blood, the sweat of hard work, and tears that seem to have fallen from the eyes of the Gods. Yes, I feel that close to this music. The intelligence and purity behind every note and every lyric is undeniable.
Douglas Gledhill is the frontman every band dreams of. His vocal versatility is a rare jewel in and of itself. Add to that the fact (and I’ve said this before) that he can effortlessly manipulate his voice into sounding like 2 or 3 different people at a time is as fascinating as it is mind blowing. There are no backing vocalists in this band. It’s just Douglas. And while playing live, there is no layering of vocal tracks. From the sounds of it, I doubt there was much of that even on the recording. Top this talent off with excellent writing skills, and an unbelievable guitar sound, (yep, he plays ALL of the guitars, too!) and you’ve got yourself an absolutely stunning musician. Douglas Gledhill is totally off the scale. He sounds like no one else I have ever heard. That is an accomplishment all by itself these days. Every song on Visions does justice to the obvious creative talents that Douglas possesses, and vice versa.
Nate Perry, the newest member of Fractional Importance, has proven to be an incredible addition to the band’s overall sound. Nate’s jazzy, Chili Peppers-influenced bass hooks contribute that perfect amount of thump and throb to Fractional’s songs. He is passionate about his art and that passion definitely shows itself on Visions. What he does is by no means basic or generic. Nate Perry is a complex player and a charismatic performer. My personal favorites on Visions when it comes to Nate’s area would have to be “Incomplete”, the title track, and the opener “Trust”.
Last but definitely not least, is Fractional Importance drummer, Kevin Fessler. Kevin has enjoyed a long-standing position in a knock down, drag out tie as one of two of my favorites in my own personal “Best Drummer in Los Angeles” category. Kevin Fessler is amazing to watch. Never would I take away from the sheer velocity and beauty of this CD, but Visions is merely a temporary fix for me when it comes to Kevin. He absolutely must be seen live to be fully appreciated. However, his gifts for pounding the crap out of his drum kit and making magical sounds emerge from them is certainly highlighted on the wandering, melodic and ultimately devastating “Pathetic”. Kevin’s dedication and subtle, diverse style is prominently displayed on crushing tracks “All This Fake” and one of my Fractional favorites, “Forget To Breathe” and again, “Incomplete”. All are equally awesome.
Visions also features an added bonus, thanks to the miracles of modern technology. Buyers will get a look at Fractional’s very first music video for the song “Pathetic” included on this CD. After my first viewing of this video at last Summer’s Hardstyle event, I would be willing to say that the video alone is worth the purchase price of this disc. It was beautifully done and might I add that the band members look just as beautiful. You want more? You will have to get the CD and find out for yourself.
Visions is an essential for anyone who appreciates true, passionate, heavy music. Unlike many bands that might make an attempt at doing something significant in the veritable ocean of molten metal; this is hardcore with heart. And after jumpstarting my love for local music a long time ago, Fractional Importance has become a constant reminder of the underrated talent in this city. As we always say, for this band (and so many others) it is only a matter of time before they are swept away under the looming wings of a major label. If Visions cannot accomplish that for Fractional Importance, then there are some deaf ears out there.