Indie Rock from the Central Valley of California (Devil In The Woods)
By: Alex Steininger
Modesto, California's Fiver has grown in number, from a trio to a sextet, and they continue to grow artistically with their third and latest album Here It Comes, showcasing songwriting growth and realizing much of the potential that was hinted at on their previous full-lengths.
Fiver?s debut, 2000's Finally Something Cool Will Happen, produced by Grandaddy's Jason Lytle, helped establish the band as part of the emerging Central Valley scene. The follow-up, Strings for Satellites, placed them in the middle of it.
The group is a constantly revolving cast of musicians centered around vocalist/guitarist David Woody's songs. For Here It Comes, Woody focused his songwriting and reached his goal of crafting a record that you have to play from start to finish, rather than jumping around song to song.
"From the beginning we've been a constant revolving door of musicians between playing live and recording," Woody says from his house, answering the phone immediately after walking in the door from work. "Over the years we've turned more into my band, which is not what I set out to do. But it has now turned into my main focus. The new people always add a lot, but it's pretty much focused around the songs I bring to the band."
"Here It Comes is a real progression for us," Woody tells me. "Finally Something Cool Will Happen captured us as a young band that didn't know what we were doing. Strings for Satellites showcased better songwriting and went through the maturing process. In between each record we've gotten more focused and wiser.
"With Here It Comes, we set out to not write a pop record about broken hearts. We wanted to grow up and not be stuck in the pop-rock genre. When the fourth album hits, I think I'll be where I want us to be. We just got off tour and we've been demoing songs for our next record. We've finally reached what we want to do for the rest of our careers."
What Woody wants to do for the rest of his career is write albums that are centrally focused, with each song not sounding the same, but sounding as if they belong on the same record as the track that precedes and proceeds it. Woody grew up listening to records, the complete package, and hates it when he buys a record and there are only a few good songs on the disc.
When asked what Fiver is all about, Woody is quick to reply. "We like to bring the rock," he laughs. "And we love to attempt or do our best to write songs that aren't bad and that we can play again and again."
Here It Comes is out now on Devil in the Woods. It brings on the rock and offers solid songwriting that you'll want to play again and again, something that has Woody quite satisfied with the record, as well as looking forward to the tour in support of it. "The live show now is completely different than the record. Other people had other commitments so we totally replaced the band to do touring.?