Today marks the release of Ian Fisher’s debut country record on Snowstar records simply titled,Nero. Simple is such a breath of fresh air. Fisher crafts simple, yet emotionally complex meanderings straight from a place as tender as a newborn’s bottom. His voice a hoarser Jim Croce, with pen ready to strike a’la Billy Bragg meets an old Johnny Cash notebook.
Heartland drenched in pendulous pedal steel fills from Ollie Samland and scrumptious backing vocals from Alexia Peniquel, Nero is a quaint, quality country album from a man thousands of miles away from his home country. The record captured in a few studios, two bedrooms, and at least one basement whilst Fisher has been living in Berlin, Germany yet is as Middle American as a boy could possibly get, raised on a farm in Missouri. Fisher turned to country music to hopefully jumpstart some of that fleeting Patriotism, we’re glad he did.
Highlights like “All Ya Need” with its percolating fiddle intro and choruses, a faint melodious acoustic guitar, and spacious piano allows the song to breathe and take on a life of its own, deliciously capped off with ample amounts of sad machine. It’s as if Fisher’s departure from the States has kept him at bay from the perpetual nonsense that fills the Popular Country airwaves. Instead he’s been able to craft quality, good ol’ boy country tunes and lay them down in the no-nonsense European approach. The title track and album opener is a glimmering example of this point; sad as hell pedal steel over a deliberately unimpressive acoustic guitar pattern for the steel guitar and piano to ride in and out of Fisher’s impressive lyrical delivery. Sets the tone for coals you’ll be raked over.
You like sad songs, get your tissues and some full bodied German beer and do it up right. Overtly impressive freshman effort, “Opinions are like guns, just cause you have one, doesn’t mean you gotta shoot it”. (+words: scott zuppardo+)
*Originally published at No Depression 10/23/15*