Album Review: Fit For Rivals – Steady Damage

by Ora “Tre” Brasel

Album: Steady Damage
Artist: Fit For Rivals
Label: N/A
Release Date: July 25, 2009
The first full-length effort by Fit For Rivals, Steady Damage, makes a lasting impression from the very first listen, and most likely will prompt multiple listens after that one. Out of the ten songs on the album, there isn’t really one which fails to give the listener a true joy to behold.
From the opening attack of ‘Crash,’ which starts with the lyric “Don’t know where I’m going,” you might not know where you are going either, but you can rest assured that wherever it is you will want to follow them. Once you are engaged in taking this journey you will find yourself tapping your feet, banging your fist in the air, and eventually singing along with each and every track after multiple listens. Although the music is most easily classified in the realm of punk it is really too vague of a term to fully encapsulate all that is being presented here. Songs like ‘Better Off Alone’ and ‘Burn’ especially showcase the band’s ability to appeal to a broad spectrum of listeners, while at the same time remaining consistent to presenting a complete album of songs that all fit together like pieces in a puzzle.
The vocals done by Renee Phoenix are some of the most infectious to come along in music in years, and it is near impossible for anyone not to notice and appreciate them for how great they truly are. At the same time, the music is so perfectly sculpted around the vocals that you could say that Steady Damage is the total package. Thomas Amason and Jesse Carroll provide guitar work that will give the listener spine tingling chills with each track, and the foundation of rhythm provided by Ben Nelson and John Hartman, keep your head bobbing and feet tapping at all times. When the album comes to it’s vicious final song, ‘Cut Off Your Hands,’ you will find your heart beating quite heavily once it ends, and most likely will be compelled to queue it back up from the start.
This is truly an album that begs to be listened to. If you find yourself drawn in by the first song then the chances are high that you will listen with intent the rest of the way through, and almost assuredly be back to listen to it again many times over.