Okay, I’ve talked earlier this year about acts embracing certain gothic or theatrical elements in music – which has happened a surprising amount in 2017 – and obviously there’s a sliding scale for this. On the one hand, you have artists like John Darnielle of the Mountain Goats looking for a nuanced and sincere discussion of gothic music, and on the other hand you get acts like many of the Soundcloud shock rappers and Hollywood Undead who grab up the superficial scare tactics to make themselves seem more edgy, imposing and interesting than they really are. And somewhere in the middle you get an act like Creeper, a pop rock band drawing on the baroque, pseudo-gothic melodrama of bands like Panic! At The Disco, that play with all of the intensity and sincerity but are willing to also have a little more fun with the trappings and image – there’s a limit to how seriously you can really take them, and that can be just fine.
So into all of that comes Felix Hagan & The Family, a London rock group who in the grand tradition of camp draws upon pop rock, hair metal, vaudeville and musical theater for their sound – not quite as bombastic or epic as Meat Loaf, not quite as textured as Kyle Craft, but playing in a similar ballpark. They’ve been around throughout most of the 2010s putting out EPs that range from remarkably catchy to a little too ridiculous for their own good – all the theatricality is fun but it does strain credulity when they try to call anyone ‘posers’ – but there’s a part of me that has a soft spot for this material, so when the votes came up on Patreon for me to cover this… well, it’s near the end of the year, there aren’t many new releases coming this week that I care about, so why the hell not? So I dug into Attention Seeker – what did I find here?