We all have bands, and no doubt many, which almost with their first creative breath spark an instinctive and lustful affair between their sound and ears. For us UK noise poppers Falls is one such union, a riotous quartet which spins webs of invention so contagious that they make the common cold seem lazy. Back in 2014, the band had us hooked with their self-tagged gash pop/fuck rock via the Dirtbox EP. Now they have unleashed its successor, One Hundred Percent Strong; a bigger, bolder, and even more devilish affair to rapture over.
Formed in 2013, Falls has been a hungry and irresistible live presence from day one, tours and shows with the likes of Allusondrugs, Shikari Sound System, God Damn, Blacklisters, Press To MECO, and Black Peaks among their own headlining conquests. The Dirtbox EP equally sparked attention upon its release, eclipsed the next year by the band’s two track single Mastiff which saw a host of radio play and support from the likes of Huw Stephens, Zane Lowe, Steve Lamacq, Alex Baker, and Sophie K. Ahead of a co-headlining tour with I Cried Wolf and an appearance at ArcTanGent in August, Falls is now uncaging One Hundred Percent Strong, a four-track stomp sure to outshine its predecessors in acclaim to match the leap in sound and invention.
There is a more mature and accomplished feel to the songs with the band’s latest offering, but without defusing the loco imagination and quick fire twist and turns which have already marked out their sound and imagination. In fact those elements have been honed with an even keener creative devilment to keep ears and the imagination as busy as the song’s instinctive rock ‘n’ roll does the body. With everything combined, Falls’ music is like a mix up in a noise infested pop factory blending early XTC with Hawk Eyes as seepage from Melvins adds a thrilling contamination.
It all starts with the kinetic shuffle of Get Well Soon; a track instantly accosting ears with throbbing bass grooves and rolling beats as the guitars of Martin Gallagher and Philip Kelsall perpetually cast wiry hooks and teasing riffs. That alone is enough to infest the psyche and lift the spirit, but add the rousing vocals of the band, with one of the three string pickers leading though no idea which, and you have instant emotional arousal. The track continues to swing and thump, even as its pop fuelled chorus dances provocatively on the imagination. It is simply glorious; we all find manna for the ears in certain songs and this is ours.
Though it is quickly matched by the even more tenacious and slight psychotic Shady Nasty. Again grooves and hooks are swift bait around the lively inviting beats of Steff Jones with the band’s vocals further harmonic and mischief making fun. There is also a volatility to the encounter, at times it almost intimidating ears with the resonating snarl of Ben Griffiths’ bassline a prominent enticement though it is just as compelling in the warmly flirtatious moments too.
SWARM comes next and lives up to its name as riffs crawl incessantly through ears, though there is no particular urgency to their incitement. Instead the song writhes around with steely grooves and off-kilter exploits within a web of punk hooks and noise rock sensibility. Ultimately, it is as funky as it is ferocious, as poppy as it is cantankerously inventive and pure alchemy for the senses and at this point our very greedy appetite for the release.
There is no relaxing of the twisted tempting and addictive ingenuity with closing track Death In Disco Shoes either, the track leaping around like a hyperactive sugar fuelled teenager not knowing whether to party hard or be creatively responsible and doing both with unbridled zeal.
It is an exhilarating end to one of the year’s major propositions so far and no doubt will remain so. Falls and One Hundred Percent Strong are noisy, raucous, and prone to addictive habits; the very best kind of rock ‘n’ roll.
The One Hundred Percent Strong EP is out now via Venn Records digitally and on 7” vinyl @ https://www.vennrecords.com/shop/music/fallsvinyl/
Pete RingMaster 13/05/2016
Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright
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