Falcon: 'The Sandfighter'

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Falcon 300 i
Mayumi Nashida
Falcon 300
Mayumi Nashida

The Brooklyn-based band Falcon doesn't take its name from the bird, but rather from an old friend of bandmates Shannon Ferguson and Neil Rosen. Jared Falcon has been in and out of institutions his whole life, but managed to write and record more than 300 songs in the late '80s on a shoddy tape recorder. The band has recovered those old tapes, and plays as a tribute band to an artist whose music never made it past living-room cassettes. The group's self-titled debut EP marks its first venture toward reworking the songs to bring them to fruition. However, the album's interesting brand of upbeat acid-pop is more than a simple reworking of the original lo-fi acoustic musings.

On "The Sandfighter," Rosen mimics Smashing Pumpkins singer Billy Corgan with high-pitched falsetto vocals. The band pairs this with reverberating guitars to give the track a dream-pop expansiveness that benefits from high-decibel listening. Equally upbeat is "Q of T," which finds the band embracing indie dance pop with a heavy, jumpy bassline and jittery guitars in the song's energetic chorus.

The EP's five tightly crafted pop songs can be sugary sweet, but subtle hints at psych-rock and noise-pop give the sound a rich flavor. While Rosen's voice echoes Corgan's, the band's signature off-kilter (at times off-key) melodies are more likely to bring to mind Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne. "Listen In" sounds like an acid-rock song filtered through bright pop sensibilities. The result is highly catchy while maintaining some psychedelic quirks. The spacey ambient noises on closing track "Bees" suggest influences of cosmic rock, as well.

"The tapes can be a bit raw, and we certainly take liberties working up the material," Rosen says. The group has worked up 20 or so of Jared Falcon's songs so far, and is currently putting together its first full-length record, which its members hope to release by the end of the year.

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