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False-Heads - Tunnel Vision (EP Review)

By Edited Aug 3, 2015 0 0
False-Heads - Tunnel Vision (EP Review) - Cover

False-Heads is an interesting up and coming band stationed in London, England with influences including Nirvana, Pixies, Elliott Smith, The Beatles, The Sex Pistols, and Radiohead (among others I am sure). There sound is certainly remoniscient of early stadium rock and grunge acts, with a tinge of hardcore punk which really seemed to motivate some of these early rock and rollers. On False-Heads latest EP entitled "Tunnel Vision," they hone their musical skills and call on a lot of these classic artists as they introduce occasional moments of unique artistic dexterity.

Instrumentation

Considering that False-Heads is, more or less, an alternative rock band; the expected instrumentation is that of your typical band set up (guitars, a bass, and drums). On "Tunnel Vision," we are treated much to these instruments, but little more on most of the tracks present on this album. Fortunately, the band does a good job of adding variety to their sound by way of a variety of guitar pedal effects. A variety of clean and distorted guitars are used, as well as phaser and chorus effects. The standout moment on this album comes with the final track titled "Comfort Consumption" which incorporates live strings (played by some guest musicians) paired with a dense atmosphere, a catchy melody, and even some post-rock tendencies which I found to be truly unique. The other 4 tracks on this album are accessible and enjoyable, but never quite rise to the greatness of this closing track.

Production/Composition

One thing I really enjoyed about "Tunnel Vision" is the production quality is that it is crisp and clear, yet allows for moments wherein we hear a "wall of sound" and can almost feel like we are at an amateur punk rock show. The only issue I found in terms of the production is that, at times, the vocals seem a bit too high in the mix like on the track "Without a Doubt." However, after multiple listens, this seemed to become less and less of a problem. It is worth noting though as upon your first listen, it may be a little abrasive as well. The compositions prominent on this album are generally well written and structured. They cater heavily to an audience that enjoys the pop sensibility of the song structures, yet who enjoy occasional moments of instrumental interludes and guitar solos. And when I mentioned solo segments, they are pretty rad and fill in the space between the vocals very nicely. On the aforementioned punk rock styled track "Without a Doubt," a very atmospheric solo leads right into a bass lick, a quick build up, and a return to power chords for the closure of the tune. I could picture this going over well in a live setting.

Vocals/Lyrics

False-Heads provide us with an excellent quality punk and classic rock styled singer. His voice is very natural, at times a bit off, but overall fitting to the atmosphere. He sings in an array of styles ranging from a relaxed and sort of soothing melodic style like on the track "Where is Your Man?" to a more aggressive and hardcore yelling style as is prominent on some early punk rock styled tracks. As for the lyrics, they fluctuate in quality. The track "Remedy" features some great verses like "Could you let me in On what you've planned I'm next of kin and my gun is manned Could you come around I’m not that fast Don't make a sound Wait till they pass." Yet, a track like "Where is Your Man?" features the chorus consisting of the phrase "Where is Your Man?" repeated several times. While I found "Remedy" to be fairly thought provoking and lyrically interesting, "Where is Your Man?" lost my attention. Fortunately, on the whole, the tracks on "Tunnel Vision" are great and mostly feature good vocals and lyrics that it is easy to forgive little mistakes.

Overall Impression

It's been a while since I've listened to music in this style, and False-Heads has managed to reawaken my interest in grunge and older punk music. Their latest EP "Tunnel Vision" is not perfect by any stretch, but it does an excellent job at recalling the history of their selected genre and at standout moments like on the closing track "Comfort Consumption" they really push the genre beyond expectations. Personally, I'd download this album just for this last track, and enjoy the fun classic punk and stadium rock we are treated to in the other four tracks. As a whole, this album works. If you are looking to get into some underground British styled rock, False-Heads is doing a great job at paving the way into the future of the style. In the future, I hope to hear a more refined sound and more thoughtful compositions, maybe even leaving some of the simple song structures for more of that post-rock aesthetic we get a glimpse of on the album closer; but for now, what we have is a solid EP from an upcoming band.

You can get the EP for free via their Bandcamp page.

Review Ulalume 2013-08-27 4.0 0 5
4/5
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