Sam Fender: Hypersonic Missiles review | Alexis Petridis’s album of the week

The North Shields singer-songwriter may look cookie-cutter but his gritty, gloriously anthemic songs on toxic masculinity, violence and death are anything but

Sam Fender seems to have arrived direct from central casting: Brit Critics’ Choice award 2019 winner, nominated in 2018’s BBC Sound Of poll, looks like a model, background in acting, here we go again. Which means his debut album comes as a shock: a major label in 2019 appears to have signed a male British singer-songwriter who doesn’t conform to the standard late 2010s male British singer-songwriter blueprint. He has neither a beard nor a beanie hat, declines to play the acoustic guitar as his primary instrument and seems to have refused to work with the same pool of writers and producers as everyone else. The songs on Hypersonic Missiles bear Fender’s name alone, while the production comes courtesy of a friend called Bramwell Bronte.

Related: Sam Fender: ‘I don’t want to cling on to the “class hero” thing’

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