Everyone once in a while you’ll come across a band that makes you think “They rock!” Other times you’ll come across bands that rock your face off so hard you don’t even have time to reflect on how much they rock. The Famines fall under the latter category.
The Famines are a pure punk-rock band, such as the types one might have seen during Canada’s CanRock renaissance. You will be blown away by how loud, but also how skilled, this group is.
The album can basically be divided in half. The first half of the album is blistering and aggressive and may cause permanent hearing damage if listened to on a really high volume. The second half of the album is toned down a little bit, but, as I’ve said in previous reviews, toning down the amp from 11 to 8 isn’t much of a toning-down.
The album’s first three songs get louder in succession. Opener “Hi Hi Hi” starts thing off with a bang, “Faux Famous” packs an even bigger punch with a little bit of snarl, and then “Syllables” goes beyond over-the-top and is about as subtle as being mauled by a bear. That’s how aggressive that song is.
“Got Lies if you Want Them” picks up on the aggression of the previous song but does manage to calm down a little. But then “P.C.L.A.,” a 38-second song, delivers another huge burst of grungy guitar and thunderous drumming.
“The First World War” is a pretty cool song that, with some dry wit, talks about World War I. It even namedrops all four of the main battles- “Vimy Ridge, Passchendale, Ypres, the Somme.” The song also starts a little soft but builds up a crescendo, something the band doesn’t do as often.
The album comes to an end with “Faux Wealthy” and ends not with a bang, but with a gentle lowering. The guitar is a lot of more minimal here and shows that the band won’t be a one-trick pony that blasts out for a bit and not much else.
Getting a huge dose of pure rock and roll isn’t something I get a lot and the Famines have definitely given me my fix. Stream or purchase the album over at Bandcamp.
Top Tracks: “Faux Famous”; “The First World War”
Rating: Proud Hoot (Really Good) +*swoop*