SONG CLUB REVIEW: “Fools” by Northern Royals
(This post is based on the script Mark David Stallard wrote for The Invisible Song Club live show.)
“Fools” is an enjoyable rock song with a distinct “Black Betty” vibe.
It starts with electric guitars and drums hitting a hard first beat. A fuzzy electric guitar comes in with a quick, almost familiar riff, and then is joined by a second guitar that squeals out a response. The guitars overlap, as one starts the other stops. After the second time through the singer shouts “Hey” and the base drum comes in thumping the beat, and the guitars continue their alternating soft and hard riffs. We can feel the energy build.
The vocals follow the melody and rhythm laid out by the electric guitars in the solo. During the verse the guitars step back and we hear chords strummed, leaving room for the voice. The first verse concludes quickly, which I was half expecting a short silence, and maybe going back into the intro. But the second verse comes in, this time with what sounds like a lead guitar singing a subtle melody in the background, though it might have been a keyboard.
The 2nd verse concludes with a satisfying break of the drums, which also helps build the tension leading us into the chorus.
The chorus is very cleverly done. The First line is broken up, with the male voice singing the first phrase, the female voice singing the second phrase and so on. The voices overlap as one fades the other comes in. Just in the way the electric guitars did in the intro. Then the voices switch with the female voice singing the first phrase, and so on.
The second and third verse repeat the energy of the first two.
And then we get a guitar solo, which starts as a slow rhythmic lead. Then we geta second guitar join over the top with some clear modulation. The two guitars playing together, completely different parts add so much colour and energy to what otherwise could have been a bog standard guitar break. The two guitars work really well together.
What really stood out to me on this song, is the melodically clear voices and the catchy melody of the chorus. The way the two voices play off each other as they switch roles, and overlap.
To my ears the lyrics are secondary to the music on this song. They’re fairly straight forward. But one line caught my attention.
“C’mon honey I’ve to follow the beat. To the Honeycomb that could be our home.”
I’m not sure what that really means, but rhyming honeycomb and home made me smile.
-- Mark David Stallard