Faux – ‘Patterns’

By Ollie Connors

Southampton has been good to us over the years, hasn’t it? The coastal city has, over recent years, produced the likes of Kerouac, Our Time Down Here, Burn The Fleet and many more, providing something for all sects of the rock-loving populace. However, the mere mention of the above may mislead you as to what Faux sound like, for this is something a little more palatable to a universal crowd; this melodic alt. rock fourpiece fall somewhere between Radio 1 A-list/summer festival staples such as Foals and Two Door Cinema Club and the nearly men of underground British indie such as Gunning For Tamar and Jumping Ships. Their début EP ‘Patterns’ probes into different areas of indie rock, from the angular and intriguing on Shoes to the grandiose and uplifting on It’s Colour; while it may not be the most original thing you’ll hear this year, this certainly shows the kind of quality standard we’ve come to expect from Sotonians.

The ace card in Faux’s hand is undoubtedly the vocals of singer Lee Male, his falsetto voice dominating proceedings. While the band’s songwriting technique is undoubtedly strong, their playing is reduced to a sideshow to Male’s voice, significantly so on tracks like Backbone’, a fairly sparse instrumental arrangement allowing Male to conduct an infectious chorus almost single-handedly. Each of these five tracks has their own strengths, but the highlight is probably the eponymous track of the EP, an infectious bassline snaking its way through the verses, leading to the daddy of all the big choruses Faux have in their arsenal on ‘Patterns’. The group vocals leading into not one, but two Biffy-esque breakdowns are a delight to behold, and this track more than any other on show portray what might be in store if one were to catch the quartet live.

Finale ‘As It Is’ brings together all the elements that have made this release a success; whilst the first two minutes of the song pass by without much significant event, the quiet-bit-leading-into-a-loud-coda is quite fantastic; a horrible cliché of this genre it may be, as is the “epic finisher”, but it’s done very well here, even adding a subtle bit of glockenspiel into proceedings – I do love a bit of glock. ‘Patterns’ may represent well-trodden ground as far as indie rock goes, but the smartest trick this band pull is to not sound tired and mediocre, which Faux manage well. The ‘Patterns’ on this release may well be familiar, but this decent début release is far from a Faux-pas.

OLLIE CONNORS

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