Fortress Social Club make genuine effort on sophomore album

Photo by Jon B, via flickr

Junette Reyes/Entertainment Director 

“Make Love, Not Babies” is the sophomore album of Fortress Social Club, an album with 11 tracks that were recorded by the entire band in full takes.

Their debut album, “Dreamin’ the Life,” sounded like the kind of music that model Edie Sedgwick would have danced to during one of Andy Warhol’s soirees in The Factory, particularly the house band The Velvet Underground.

Fortress Social Club somewhat abandoned this style in “Make Love, Not Babies,” channeling a lot of the airy, psychedelic sound of The Beatles and a little bit of the rock ‘n’ roll rawness of The Rolling Stones.

The Beatles influence is the heaviest throughout, but this is mainly due to frontman Shawn Harris’ vocals, which are reminiscent of John Lennon’s vocals.

It also doesn’t help that one of the tracks is titled “Blueberry Pie,” which immediately makes me think about “Strawberry Fields Forever” after reading the title alone.

A more contemporary comparison in terms of vocals would be the frontman of Tame Impala, Kevin Parker, as well as Tame Impala itself at times.

“Make Love, Not Babies” starts off with a fun, upbeat track titled “Dream Girls,” which shows off the raw nature of Fortress Social Club.

The true standout track of the album is “Don’t Let Me Dance.” As previously mentioned, every track on this album was recorded in full takes. This is pretty impressive, considering the full sound and lively instrumentation that was captured on every track, which is particularly heard in “Don’t Let Me Dance.”

Although there are other notable tracks in “Make Love, Not Babies,” such as “Funny Faces,” “I’m Not a Praying Man, But…,” “Lonesome Without You,” and “Believe It Baby,” I’m still left wanting something more. The first few tracks hyped me up and then I was just left hanging.

The potential of Fortress Social Club can be clearly heard in their music, they just don’t quite seem to know what to do with it at times. “Make Love, Not Babies,” is still worth a listen, as the band put some genuine effort into their sophomore album.

Verdict: 3/5 

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