Album Review: Faye – Faye

For a genre as ubiquitous as indie-punk, there’s a particularly shallow pool of influences, probably because the majority of bands pick the same ones and run with them. North Carolina’s Faye aren’t really any different – this self-titled debut EP takes in liberal amounts of grunge and garage rock and puts it through a Sleater Kinney filter. And while there mightn’t be a whole lot to write home about in terms of originality, it’s a decent little release.

As is to be expected from a release like this, the earthy production job gives it a distinctively loose sound. The thick bassline on ’Teacups’ is a lot more pronounced and fluid than more polished releases, and there’s an omnipresent rumble in the gentle closer ’Ancient Bones’ that only adds to that rustic feel.

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The vocals on the other hand, couldn’t be more different. Sarah Blumenthal’s gentle, almost childlike croon is a lot smoother than any of the instrumentation, but it’s an interesting dichotomy that sometimes really works well. ’Vowels’ has a pleasant jangle that runs throughout, and ’Yellow Canary’ layers of reverb build up a palpably thick atmosphere.

As an independent entity, there’s nothing particularly wrong with Faye’s debut – it’s a pleasantly catchy slice of indie-punk that ticks all the right boxes. But compared to some of the genre’s heavyweights – or even the vast majority of the competition – there’s very little on offer here that you won’t have heard before. The fact that it’s only five tracks long is probably its saving grace – it keeps things concise without having to resort to fully cribbing ideas from others.

Judged on its own merits though, this is definitely a strong start. It’s a light, easy-going listen with plenty of character, both in its own composition and from the band itself. And that’s a hard thing to begrudge anyone.

3/5

‘Faye’ by Faye is released on May 13th on Tiny Engines.

Faye links: Facebook|Twitter|Bandcamp

Words by Luke Nuttall (@nuttall_luke)

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