The Falcon

Gather Up The Chaps

Written by: PP on 02/04/2016 17:26:48

Few short-lived supergroups are as revered as The Falcon, which features Brendan Kelly (The Lawrence Arms), Neil Hennessy (The Lawrence Arms), Dan Andriano (Alkaline Trio) and Dave Hause (The Loved Ones) in its current constellation. Their 2004 EP "God Don't Make No Trash Or Up Your Ass With Broken Glass" and 2006 debut album "Unicornography" are widely acclaimed as some of the best releases in punk in their respective years, spawning a cult-like following for The Falcon manifesting in frequent calls for booking The Falcon for various punk-related festivals. It's been quiet since then; hence the apt title "Gather Up The Chaps" for the sophomore album, the announcement of which took the punk scene by some surprise since it has been almost ten years since any The Falcon related activity was registered on our radar.

Where "Unicornography" occasionally toyed with ska punk influence aside from mainly sounding like a suitable part of The Lawrence Arms back catalogue, "Gather Up The Chaps" offers a much more nuanced expression instead. While the Brendan Kelly-driven songs still sound primarily like The Lawrence Arms material from their heavier and louder "Oh Calcutta!"-era, those led by Dan Andriano are more somber and dark, but contain the subtle brilliance that we've grown accustomed to from his work with Alkaline Trio and his solo project Dan Andriano In The Emergency Room. "You Dumb Dildos", for instance, highlights his songwriting capacity and earns the award for being the catchiest track on the record, despite sounding more like an Alkaline Trio track than a Lawrence Arms one. "Sailor's Grave" has a similar vibe.

"War Of Colossus" is a perfect bridge between those two bands, basically sounding like you would imagine Alkaline Trio to sound like if they were playing Midwestern punk in the vein of The Lawrence Arms instead. Dave Hause brings his own impression on how The Falcon should sound like on the appropriately titled "If Dave Did It", bringing in catchy woah-woah chants and pop punk influence for good measure. Together, the songs give "Gather Up The Chaps" plenty of variety and distinguish it from being just another Lawrence Arms record without Chris McCaughan, resulting in interesting dynamics and in effect offering a peek into the differing stylistical directions found within the modern punk movement since the 2000s and onwards.

The songs are high-energy and upbeat, vary between shouty and somber, creating a quiet/loud dynamic that's seldom seen in punk rock outside Alkaline Trio albums. And in terms of composition, it doesn't get much better than this in 2016 for punk rock. Depth-laden songwriting means the record needs a number of listens before it clicks, but when it does, "Gather Up The Chaps" is arguably a hit parade that leaves "Metropole" easily in its shadow.

Download: You Dumb Dildos; War Of Colossus; Sergio's Here; The Fighter, The Rube, The Asshole
For the fans of: The Lawrence Arms, Alkaline Trio, The Holy Mess, Dan Andriano In The Emergency Room
Listen: Facebook

Release date 18.03.2016
Red Scare Industries

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