reviewed by Jack Derricourt
The Canadian wilderness welcomes the Faps — that’d be a band name, as well as one of the funniest terms bred by 21st century internet fiends. The road-tried two-piece of a band makes music that can survive four trips along Highway Number One. Their new EP is called Hot Slaw, and it seeks out folk ways of punk with pure pleasure.
The album is a piece of tailored confectionery. Four tender, tense tracks that highlight the mobility and freedom of two part instrumentation. The shifts of sound contained in the four songs stem from classic rock crannies, but coagulate in post-modern ways thanks to the inventiveness of the band — they obviously have a lot to get off their chest after four Canadian road trips. The sound of the recordings is not lo-fi, but neither is it hi; there is some subtle reverb on the vocals, and some distance built into the levels of the instruments within the soundscape; otherwise, this is a fairly standard, bold sounding set of sounds. The guitar swarms all over the tracks, while the drums take the mid-ground and run gleefully with it.
The guitar work on these four tracks is satisfying in the simplest way. Skyler Cafferata knows how to provide what the plebs want from good rhythm and lead. On “Saigon 75,” he leads off with dynamic, showing that slow to fast is the way to start a six string heavy record. Then he goes the other way on “Sea Siqk,” leading off with a dense shuffle, only to break the song down and play with dissonance.
There’s so much that flirts with familiarity on the record — new wave vocal flutters, peppery sweet blues guitar chords, timeless sounding drum fills — but the quirkiness built into the changes and shifts in the music is the signature that the band stamps on the music, for recognition. It’s a weird EP that stumbles in odd directions to amuse listeners. Then again, with a name like the Faps, what else would you expect from this band?
Top Track: “Saigon 75”
Rating: Proud Hoot (Really Good)