Review: Tower - Falcon Arrow
Artist: Falcon Arrow
Release Date: August 24, 2014
I’ve known about Falcon Arrow for some time. I’ve seen them live as well, and they put on a damn good show. So I was ecstatic when they sent me a copy of their latest record, Tower, when it came out. I’m even more excited now that I’ve listened to it. I’m not going to be breaking down every song for this review. Not because I don’t like the record. Quite the contrary. I feel like I’d be wasting your time asking you to read about it when you should really just go listen to it.
Plus, just look at that cover… Inner 13 year-old me is having a fit over how cool that is.
Read the review if you want, but I’m gonna end it the same way: Just buy the damn thing already.
From the very first notes of “Derelict”, Tower‘s opening track, Falcon Arrow waste no time establishing a groove. Bass guitar, looped, fuzzed, tweaked, stacked, and modified every which way, on top of a solid drum beat have you bobbing your head along with it in a matter of seconds. You’ll find yourself doing this a lot on this record, especially on tracks like “Mokele Mbembe” and “Dah-Mavaya”. Falcon Arrow aren’t afraid to venture into even poppier, El Ten Eleven-esqu, frays either, as heard on “Cyclostar”, “Regnar Regnar”, and segments of the sprawling “Aldebaran Serpent”.
On the other side of the spectrum, Falcon Arrow are equally capable of making expansive, melancholic, and contemplative tracks, such as “Landing Party”, “Revenant”, and “Big Rig”. Tracks like “Cantina Empire” and “Dune Patrol” demonstrate the two-piece’s ability to blend all of the previous elements together, adding a depth to this record which sets it apart from too many bands that typically only paint with one brush at a time.
Regardless of what mood is being set up it quickly becomes apparent, even just a few tracks in, that strong, hooky melodies and a driving, creative rhythm section are the hallmark of Falcon Arrow’s songwriting. An individual breakdown for every song just wouldn’t work on this record. The characteristics of the band’s unique sound is consistent throughout Tower, but more importantly the results are consistently good. I’d try to offer up some sort of criticism, but simply don’t have any for this record. There isn’t a bad song, or even a song I find myself consistently skipping to get to another when listening to it.
I will say that the final track on the album, “Big Rig”, is hands-down my favorite on this record. There is no other way to describe it other than simply beautiful. A reoccurring, familiar, and almost lyrical melody plays over a prominent marching snare, and feels like the last stretch of a long journey. It feels like coming home. Capping a record that was already so strong throughout its entirety with this track has sealed Tower as one of my favorite albums that I’ve reviewed so far.
Just buy the damn thing already.
Tower is available now, digitally through Falcon Arrow’s Bandcamp for $8. It is entirely worth it. A vinyl release is upcoming.
You can check out all of the albums I’ve reviewed so far on The Big List o’ Reviews.