Reviewed by: Drew Krapljanov
Subgenres can be a pain to wrap your head around, especially as they gradually change over time. The early sound of Post-Rock for example, that came from artists such as Slint, Tortoise and Talk Talk was a different animal to what we hear today. Originally more cleaner, intimate and visceral with highly experimental chord structures and textures has now become known for huge dynamic structures and heavily reverberated textures, gigantic in melancholy and emotion.
An evolution in the sound of subgenres can also be found in Alternative Rock. While it is a very broad term for any style of Rock Music that differs to the context of Mainstream Rock music at the time, we find that it’s origins of the bright artful Jangle Pop of REM and the abrasive Post Punk of Husker Du in the late 80’s shift to the melancholy of Radiohead, the ambition and complexity of Incubus and the freakiness of Franz Ferdinand.
Under this latest incarnation of Alternative Rock comes Falloway, a four piece hailing from Perth with a new EP entitled Solitude.
Opening track ‘Winter’ fades in with a reversed guitar melody and some swooning reverberated vocals that gently transitions into a glitchy, distorted drum beat with some whirring synthesisers. The intrigue and atmosphere of the song is undermined by a bland U2 guitar riff and dull Piano Arpeggios that chime and stutter forcefully underneath the electronic textures.
It pales in comparison to the introductory track of 2014’s ‘Chrysalis’ which gradually built up a moody, ambient drone into a overwhelming, colourful soundscape.
Solitude’s softer, more straightforward Alternative Rock sound becomes more apparent with the track ‘Little Lost’. The song begins with a flourishing drum solo before the repetitive Incubus guitar motif crashes in. While the instrumental performances are colourful melodically and rhythmically, the track suffers from a lack of dynamic within them which also hinder the passionate vocal performances.
While the band’s tendency to needlessly embellish and complicate their instrumentation doesn’t make itself immediately apparent on tracks like ‘Little Lost’ or ‘Winter’, it is undeniably noticeable on ‘AON’, the EP’s closing track.
The sombre and refreshingly spacious introduction paces itself carefully and unravels into a tense, driving melodic chorus section. As the track goes on, layers of building, meandering guitar and schizophrenic drum embellishments spoil the song’s final moments and the interesting and refreshing atmospheric aspects of it’s introduction.
On ‘Solitude’, Falloway do showcase a considerable amount of musical finesse with intricate and colourful instrumentation and passionate vocal performances. Yet despite their ambition, the band pigeonhole themselves into the meandering Alternative pioneers by frequently clutter themselves with needless complexity that often dampens the impact of the subtlety that their music could offer.
You can listen to Falloway’s Solitude and their previous EP Chrysalis here.