That Noble Fury
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That Noble Fury

Boston, Massachusetts, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2004 | SELF

Boston, Massachusetts, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2004
Band Alternative Chamber

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

Feb
27
That Noble Fury @ Leftfield

New York, New York, USA

New York, New York, USA

Feb
03
That Noble Fury @ Great Scott

Allston, Massachusetts, USA

Allston, Massachusetts, USA

Dec
31
That Noble Fury @ Bitter End

New York, New York, USA

New York, New York, USA

Music

Press


It is almost midnight. Almost Easter. Bathed in blue light, a small, cavelike room in the middle of New York’s Bowery is dark, surprisingly quiet and still. As the faithful begin to congregate, a group of young men unassumingly take the stage to set equipment, plug cables, tape down set lists. They are focused and deliberate, perhaps a bit somber, in their tasks. The room fills with pilgrims, traveling from places like Boston and DC, pressing forward in devotion and anticipation until finally there is no room left at the foot of the stage.
The place is Arlene’s Grocery. The band is That Noble Fury. The show is sold out.
Without introduction - none is needed - the band launches into a swirl of noise in which frontman Anthony Blaha, suggests “I could be someone you like, would you want to try?” The song is an abbreviated version of North, and it seems by the glint in his eye he already knows the answer to the question.
Without pause, the band plunges into the carnival frenzy of Barbershoppe, followed by the hardcore drive of Parachute Jumper. Though these songs are familiar, they are also strangely new. That Noble Fury, the record, expertly takes the listener on an eclectic musical journey of playful discovery, romantic confusion and, finally, quiet resolution.
In concert, however, it is immediately apparent that the band has brought us through the rabbit hole. There is no progression. There is no quiet. We are in a wonderland where even the sadness of In California seems part celebration. Live, That Noble Fury are a first rate rock band, translating their songs into pure energy. Blaha seems barely able to contain the music inside him. His movements are erratic, his voice full and deliberate. Thomas Fellows is his perfect foil. His voice is rich and mellifluous, and he plays guitar with a flawless, easy-going precision. He is clearly having fun with his music.
The additional members of the band are equally skilled. Dave Chapman adds a welcome second guitar, filling each song with energy and substance, playfully singing along. Dave Kahn, on bass, and James Soares, on percussion, provide a solid foundation; at times appropriately filling out the sound, and at times the driving force behind their fury.
With the set nearly done, they have pulled some of their audience onstage to revel with tambourines in the sheer triumph of Nice to See You Alive. This is a band that loves their music, loves their audience. Without ever slipping into pretension or preciousness, they play with expert abandon that seems wholly new and welcome. As the stage goes dark, and the plaintive gypsy violin of Cadenza pierces the air, the band lunges into their final number, The Matador. It is forceful, it is frenzied, and as its last chords echo through the room, it feels as though That Noble Fury have resurrected rock and roll.
March 30, 2013. Arelene’s Grocery. New York City. 3.30.2013
Set List:
North (abbreviated edition)
Barbershoppe
Parachute Jumper
Room By Room
My Elephant
Charlie
Daggers
Boy Get Back
In California
License To Kiss You
Nice To See You Alive
Cadenza & Intro
The Matador
- Jonas David Grey and Terry Gotham


Amidst red lights and a roaring crowd, That Noble Fury came onstage with an amazing energy. Anthony Blaha, a songwriter and front man for the band, works professionally as an actor and it shows. Even his hair is more expressive than mine. These guys weren’t just playing, they were performing: wildly head-banging, dancing, and interacting with the crowd. They have an alternative rock sound that juxtaposes soft and whispery with loud and strong, legato with staccato, and varied the rhythm to great effect. Even they have some difficulty characterizing it. “It’s hard to describe what you sound like inside a band,” Anthony told me the next day when I spoke with him and Tom Fellows, the other song-writer and front man.

They both towered over me and had more than a little character between them. Tom was funny, but mostly quiet in Anthony’s overwhelming presence. Anthony answered my questions with long pseudo-philosophical explanations; he gave a dozen answers when I asked about his goals. He wants something sustainable that people can pick up in 10 years and still be moved by, something that affects people and something that adds a little good to the world before he dies: “Music has this weird thing, coupling it with words just cuts right to the heart of someone…you’re trying to do good, you’re going to die, you’re going to lose, but you fight anyway—that’s that Noble Fury!”

I was impressed not just by their performance or their music, but by the way the whole concert came together in a varied, sensical way, with natural-feeling undulations and over-arching themes. When I asked about this, Anthony responded, “We, as a band, believe in an album as an art form…if people could get lost for an hour in our album—that would be a goal.” Several fans spoke to me after the show, several of whom I truly believe could sing every word off the album, and I can safely say that Anthony has reached some of his goals.
- The Backstage Beat


That Noble Fury’s self-titled album is a strong debut that feels simultaneously raw and polished. Band members Anthony Blaha and Tom Fellows combine a variety of styles—everything from rock to pop to classical to funk.

Even the lyrics on this album are far from straight forward. For many of the tracks, the vocals initially tend to wash over the listener without revealing their stories too quickly. Words and melodies meld together. You have to take apart each song like a puzzle and then put the pieces back together again before you can really start to hear the true meanings of the lyrics. Even some of the songs with more traditional themes, like “My Elephant” and “License to Kiss”, are filled with hidden meanings that lend themselves to a range of interpretations.

Some bands tend to use instruments as accompaniment and let their vocals take center stage. That Noble Fury is not one of them. The instrumental elements are just as important as the vocals. At times, they stand completely alone, almost eliminating the need for any words at all. Piano, guitars, violins, and a variety of other instruments all play a part in creating the mood, setting, and life of this album.

One track is particularly notable for its instrumental virtuosity; “Cadenza” consists of no more than a solo violin, but nothing else is needed and it provides the perfect lead in to “Matador”.

That Noble Fury does not shy away from showing off their range. “Stars and Stars” is little more than a guy and his guitar. It is simple and unfussy, providing a mellow reprieve from some of the craziness that can be found elsewhere on the album.

And then there is “Nice to See You Alive”, a seven-and-a-half minute extravaganza of insanity. But it never gets out of hand. With its changing tempos and dynamics, it exemplifies That Noble Fury’s talent for taking the schizophrenic energy of youth and arranging it with the masterful expertise that can only come from experience. The roadmap of this song is difficult to grasp. But if you don’t mind getting lost for a little while, it is a fun journey to hear unfold.

One track leads to another to guide you on a journey that is anything but boring. From the excitement of “Parachute Jumper” to the melancholy of “In California” to the haunt of “Sail On”, this album is a dynamic offering filled with plenty of surprises to discover.

Bottom line: Many genres and instruments create controlled chaos on this self-titled extravaganza.
- Angelica Music


The self-titled debut album by That Noble Fury is, without question, one of the most surprising records of 2012. From the opening piano drive of its first track to the violin-laced discord of the the album's coda, Anthony Blaha and Tom Fellows have crafted a perfect kaleidoscope of musical style and substance. Thematically, the songs scatter politics and isolation, desire and desperation across a soundscape that is equally varied.

The record opens with Parachute Jumper, a dynamic rock narrative for a generation raised on a steady diet of war coverage and sarcasm ("here's one for the Colbert Nation"). The song marches from staccato pulse to gentle melody and crowded vocal supplication ("would you please touch me") before settling into sing-along resignation: ("All it does is put us against the wall... and don't we all feel loved?") Whether this last line is optimism or irony is left for the listener to determine. In either case, the song is a strong emotional opener. And the stage is set...

The band saunters confidently through the next three tracks, exploring the highs and lows of romance. Room By Room pulses with an acoustic heartbeat held aloft by swirling string arrangements as vocalist Anthony Blaha conditionally pleads his case ("I'll be good for you... if you could slow down the world.") My Elephant celebrates infatuation with a lighter guitar strum that perfectly suits the song's optimism ("I believe in the good that comes each and every day"). Where these tracks pulse and skip around crush and flirtation, Boy Get Back absolutely bounces through the more complicated politics of romance.

The next two tracks mark the album's midpoint. Charlie slows things considerably with a dreamy, music box quality that gradually builds and finally hints at the antique carnival playfulness of tracks to come. North is the sonic center of the record. The mostly instrumental piano elegy swells into an orchestral meditation in which Blaha seems to humbly understate his agenda ("I could be someone you like. Would you want to try?").

The second half of the record is a whimsical circus of sarcasm and desire (Barbershoppe, Nice to See You Alive). It is marked by moments of pure pop genius (License to Kiss), a plaintive piano ballad (In California) and the final epic punch of the record's most vigorous rock duo Cadenza/The Matador. The whispered simplicity of Sail On, the album's final track, just might provide a glimpse into the ambitions of That Noble Fury, the band, ("we have all the money/lovers we could want"). On the other hand, it may simply reveal a more stoic determination to move ever forward ("we're not sentimental about the things we have done/our bags are on our shoulders"). It hardly matters. These boys have taken us on an entirely satisfying adventure.

That Noble Fury, the album, is a work to be savored in its entirety. The vocals are emotionally strong, even at their quietest moments. The instrumentation is well-crafted. Each song easily stands on its own merit, but only as a whole can the richness of the musical narrative and the incredible songwriting talent of That Noble Fury, the band, be appreciated .

— Jonas David Grey - David Parker


Somewhat paradoxically given the title of this album, through most of the songs, the emotional vocals speak softly amidst the swelling tones of piano and strings, punctuated by percussion. Several songs, like "My Elephant" and "Boy Get Back," follow the same format, but with a punchier beat. Despite this variation in rhythm, the songs comprising That Noble Fury have a similar feel. Drawn-out notes and whispery vocals permeate each piece. The exceptions are "The Matador" and "Cadenza," both of which receive a refreshing injection of energy from a violin wielded by Grammy-winning Phil Setzer of the Emerson String Quartet. The final song, "Sail On," is the most surreal and sweeping of them all, fusing electronic sounds with those of other kinds of instruments and ending with a sudden cutoff.
—Patrick Kelley - The Valley Advocate


"Great song. Wonderful video. Very impressive (especially considering this is a debut). Well done, That Noble Fury."

—Vin Scelsa, host of "Idiot's Delight", WFUV New York, The Loft, Sirius XM-30 - Vin Scelsa, host of "Idiot's Delight", WFUV New York, The Loft, Sirius XM-30


"That album is phenomenal. I'm pushing it for a reason. The entire thing front-to-back is a masterful piece of work."

— Kenn McCracken, host of (The Show With No Name), Birmingham Mountain Radio - (The Show With No Name)


Discography

My Elephant (Single)

Parachute Jumper (Single)

My Elephant (Music Video)

That Noble Fury (Album)

Photos

Bio

- Sold out gigs at The Middle East (Boston) and Arlene's Grocery (NYC)

- Played to capacity at The Bitter End (NYC), subsequently invited to play back-to-back years for New Year's Eve

- Accepted to Pandora's Music Genome Project

- Featured artist on Boston's 92.5 The River

- Won "Band of the Month" for The Deli Magazine - New England

- Featured on AOL Music's Listening Party

- Nominee for "Emerging Artist of the Year" (Honorable Mention) for The Deli Magazine - New England

about the band:
That Noble Fury is the brainchild of songwriters, singers, and multi-instrumentalists Anthony Blaha and Tom Fellows who met on their first day as students at Johns Hopkins University.

Now as a full-fledged five-piece, That Noble Fury has been taking the northeast by storm with their energetic and genuinely moving live show.

about the album:
The band's debut album, That Noble Fury, is a musical magical mystery tour ranging from the whimsical pop of “My Elephant” to the jagged angularity of “Parachute Jumper,” from the radio-ready The Killers-meet-Squeeze romance of “License to Kiss” to the chamber-pop suite of “Nice to See You Alive.”

Call it heady pop. What else would you expect from a pair of college alumni, one who majored in mathematics and economics, with a minor in entrepreneurship and management and Italian studies (Tom), while the other studied theatre under the legendary John Astin and graduated from the school’s prestigious writing seminars department with a classics minor (Anthony)?

That Noble Fury's self-titled debut is a musical message in a bottle, confronting issues of modern-day isolation, alienation, and loneliness. The album boasts an eclectic palette that packs the stacked harmonies and complex arrangements of the Beatles and Queen with the moody alternative angst of Smashing Pumpkins, striving to connect and find a common culture through a wide scope redolent of modern rockers such as MGMT, Foster the People, Arcade Fire, and Spoon.

“I love albums you can listen to and get lost in for an hour,” says Anthony, who grew up playing a second-hand piano and making recordings in his bedroom in rural Pennsylvania. “Each song stands on its own, but this album is meant to be experienced as a whole and, hopefully, you come out of it feeling a little different, either viscerally or mentally: starting in one place and ending in another.”

That is exactly what the listener experiences throughout That Noble Fury. The album opens with “Parachute Jumper,” the story of a young man who goes into the army, and moves through fourteen tracks like the darkly sensual “Room By Room”, the cabaret-punk of “Boy Get Back”, the poppy piano and string combination of “In California”, and ends with the haunting “Sail On” and its ensuing rush of strings and electronics which bring the album to a climactic close.

“Each song takes on its own persona,” adds Tom, who began playing piano in fourth grade and went on to pick up the guitar and sing in a cappella groups in high school and then college. “They’re really about ourselves and our growth, the different experiences we’ve had with friends and loves, and the changes we’ve gone through.”

One hears that perspective in “Charlie” or the acoustic “Stars and Stars,” with their intimations of how the past impacts the present, as the lingering presence of those long gone continues to influence the living.

“John Lennon died in 1980, before I was born,” relates Anthony, “and he is still the single most important artistic influence on my life. Even though I never actually met him, I still have this connection and ‘ownership’ of him through his work, which is both real and not real.”

That Lennon/McCartney influence can be heard on the one-two punch of “North”, a surreal builder that rises and falls, and the sardonic ditty “Barbershoppe”, which evokes the music hall strains of Sgt. Pepper and Sweeney Todd. The album features several numbers which echo of musical theater antecedents such as Andrew Lloyd Webber, Stephen Sondheim, Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick (Fiddler on the Roof), all influences on Anthony, who is also a member of Actors’ Equity.

“You can’t help but have the two overlap in your brain,” says Anthony of his dual interest in music and theater, "Intentional or not, they are bound to influence each other in some way or another."

Produced by Jason Cummings with Anthony and Tom, the album was cut principally at the famed Cutting Room Studios in Manhattan. Among the musicians who helped achieve That Noble Fury’s wide-screen vision are guitarist Thad DeBrock, bassist Jack Daley [Lenny Kravitz], drummer/percussionist Steven Wolf [Katy Perry, Rufus Wainwright], and Grammy-winning violinist Phil Setzer of the Emerson String Quartet.

Band Members