There are supergroups and then there’s The Falcon. Anyone with more than a passing interest in modern punk music will surely own at least one record from one of the group’s members; the likelihood is you’ll own multiple.
Comprised Brendan Kelly and Neil Hennessy (Lawrence Arms), Dan Andriano (Alkaline Trio) and, for the first time, Dave Hause (Paint It Black, The Loved Ones), The Falcon is a who’s-who of modern punk and, unsurprisingly, their latest effort – the rip-roaring ‘Gather Up The Chaps’ – is straight from the top drawer.
It’s clear Hause has added a new dimension to the group’s sound, especially on the blues-y, Americana-influenced ‘Dead Rose’ and ‘Sailor’s Grave’, which break up the relentless breakneck punk rock, yet still retain the dark heart of The Falcon. Such intense cuts ensure ‘Gather Up The Chaps’ sits comfortably alongside the output of the member’s day jobs but never sounds too similar, instead existing as a hugely enjoyable diversion.
That said, it’s no surprise the real gems on ‘Gather Up The Chaps’ are the bristling, short, sharp, punk blasts. Opener ‘The Trash’ is a pit-friendly anthem that could whip even the most reticent crowd into a fervour. ‘Sergio’s Here’, meanwhile, has the knockabout charm of early Lawrence Arms (even if it’s based on a real-life drug dealer, name changed to protect the innocent etc…) while ‘Black Teeth’, which harks back to ‘The Trash’, is gang vocal heaven.
One of the most interesting things about ‘Gather Up The Chaps’ is just how well the three vocalists blend their voices together throughout. Although an excellent lead vocalist, Andriano has always had the best backing vocal in the business and he’s on brilliant form throughout. Combined with the snotty rat-a-tat delivery of Kelly and the rootsy bluster of Hause and you’ve got yourself something approaching perfection.
It means that, despite the dark subject matter, ‘Gather Up The Chaps’ is consistently big dumb fun. You can tell the The Falcon are having a blast – and you can bet your bottom dollar if they’re enjoying themselves, you will too…
’Gather Up The Chaps’ by The Falcon is released on March 18th on Red Scare Industries.
Words by Rob Mair (@BobNightMair)