Fallon Cush - Fallon Cush
2011, Fallon Cush
Fallon Cush was born almost in spite of front man Steve Smith's stubborn individualism. Smith, a twenty-plus year veteran of the Australian Indie scene, went into the studio to record with a group of long-time friends and collaborators including Scott Alpin (keys); Josh Schubeth (drums); Bill Gibson (bass); Matt Galvin (guitar) and Bert Thompson (drums). The songs had never been heard before; really just rough outlines of melody, lyrics and guitar. What started out as a recording session turned into a Kafka-esque transformation, and before long a new band, Fallon Cush, was born. Smith has long had an almost preternatural fear of bands, stepping away from Catherine Wheel before they could sign with a major label as he feared they had reached their creative peak. But even Smith knows better than to walk away from the siren song of The Muse. The band's debut album, also called Fallon Cush, was released this summer.
One of the advantages of the creative process used by Fallon Cush is the loose, organic sound that often results. Fallon Cush captures this aura in a catchy Americana-style medium, evident from the opening notes of the first track, "Tiny Town". The song has a solid, commercial sound with distinctive pop sensibility and a killer chorus. "The Trouble With A Moonlit Night" features plus songwriting and an affably informal style. The melody here drives the song, with sonically appealing rough edges ala early Badfinger or Beatles recordings. Fallon Cush impresses with the simple force of songs such as "Kiss You Awake" and "Disintegrate", and the sweet melodies of "Sleeping Giant" and "Dog Day Afternoon". Perhaps the highlight of the album is "The Great Divide", a catchy, messy and loose tune that's as close to a live-to-tape experience as you'll find. Fallon Crush closes with the solid sensibility of "Postcard", a perfect bookend for an experience that might be fleeting but will last in memory.
Fallon Cush may not stand the test of time. There's no telling when Steve Smith might pull the plug, as he would consider it dishonorable to continue any band beyond its creative peak. But there's a sort of low-level magic that thrums through the songs on Fallon Cush. Even in its quieter moments, Fallon Cush is filled with a creative energy and drive that's palpable. Smith's willingness to surrender the development of the songs on Fallon Cush to a group creative process has raised his art a notch, while retaining the individualism he so fiercely prides. By all accounts, Fallon Cush is an artistic success.
Rating: 3 Stars (Out of 5)