Independent rock is at a kind of crossroads lately. There are bands
that continue to push the envelope and find new ways to create sound
and arrange songs, and then there are bands that are content to sit
and idly reproduce structures and sounds that have been done over
and over, run into the ground. Fools & Horses fit into
the former category. The band relies on creative songwriting and even
more creative sonic usage of instruments to create some of the most
memorable indie rock of the year so far.
"Would You Know" starts the record off with a bang, really
drawing the listener in, waiting for what could possibly come next.
There are guitar lines that have that telltale early millennium jerk,
similar to bands like The Hives or The Strokes, but
those form merely the basic rhythms of the song. Then add in some
great vocal performances courtesy of Matt Hutchinson that skirt
the line between hair metal and indie, but are so well produced and
distinct that they are immediately likeable. Then, add in the long
wailing lead lines that sound almost like analog synthesizers, all
atop crisp drumming, and you've got a winning combination. "Fly
Me To The Moon" gets a bit edgier, leaning towards later-Soundgarden-style
rock, while maintaining a fresh sound and inventive music. "The
Therapy" could well be an Ian Thornley composition, not
only with the excellent tongue-in-cheek lyricism, but also in the
arrangement and delicious guitars that play beautifully off of one
On "Somebody Waits", the band releases their tender side,
delicate lyrics working their way above an acoustic guitar intro that
leads into a gently orchestrated pseudo-country ramble. "Around
The Lake" is a bit more poppy, with a bouncing bassline that
carries the song to a different plane than most of the rest of the
record. "Love Song" has a strangely rolling melody that
is off rhythm enough to be interesting, while not being distracting
from the forceful beauty of the track. By the time the album hits
"Song For A Mo(u)rning", there is little doubt that this
band can genre-jump with the best of them, and in this song, Coldplay
style pianos lead into Queen-esque epic rock with the perfect
amounts of feedback and wildly wailing guitars to form a perfect song.
The album wraps with "In Becky's Car", which has a tender
bouncing rhythm that underscores a literate prose that revels in life's
Not since the first Big Wreck album have I been so enamored
of a new band. The classic elements of rock are all to be found on
Pop Filter, but there are plenty of components that transcend
modernism and lean towards what might just be the next big thing in
and all with honest credibility and aural blissfulness.
A great combination.
1. Would You Know
2. Fly Me To The Moon
3. The Therapy
5. Deutschland Wunderland
6. Somebody Waits
7. Around The Lake
8. Love Song
9. Night Train
10. The Legend Of Billy Jack
11. Song For A Mo(u)rning
12. In Becky's Car
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