Album Review: Sam Fender - Hypersonic Missiles ⋆⋆⋆⋆

"The voice of a generation in disarray."

Sam Fender wasn't afraid to go against the grain for his debut studio album 'Hypersonic Missiles' - and it's certainly paid off.

The 2019 BRITs Critics' Choice Award-winner could have worked with any number of acclaimed songwriters and producers as a major label artist, but he chose to go it alone and record the songs at his self-built warehouse studio in his hometown of North Shields, with just his close friend and producer, Bramwell Bronte. 

It's only fitting that the songs were born in humble surroundings, as if to reflect the small-town issues which are a reoccurring theme throughout the 13-track LP.

Fender - who is often compared to his idol Bruce Springsteen - acts as a voice for a generation in disarray and heroically tackles hard-hitting issues such as Brexit, austerity, the oppressing fate of "kids in Gaza", toxic masculinity and the alarming rise in male suicide in the UK.

'Dead Boys' - written as a direct reaction to losing a close friend to suicide - is noticeably more subdued than heavy rock number 'Play God', a song about government surveillance, set in a dystopian world not so different from the one we live in now.

The 25-year-old powerhouse belts out: “No matter who you are or where you been, he is watching from the screen.”

You can almost visualise the 'Poundshop Kardashians' star plugging in his guitar after witnessing injustice and venting through his instrument and his expressive wide-ranging brooding vocals.

Standout moments come in the form of high-octane cut 'That Sound' and the hauntingly-melancholic 'Leave Fast'.

Live album-closer 'Use' showcases his rarely used deeper, bluesy vocal, which we hope he'll return to in the future.

Fender succeeds in delivering the kind of unadulterated rock 'n' roll music that's been missing for a very long time.

'Hypersonic Missiles' is released on September 13 via Polydor Records.

For Fans Of: Nothing But Thieves, The Killers, Bruce Springsteen

Rating: 4/5

Listen to recent single 'The Borders':