To some degree, Faux feel like a relic of a simpler time in British rock. Where the onus on a bit more grit and grounded punch is most visible nowadays, the Southampton quartet are further in line with an act like Canterbury, with very clean guitars and a penchant for some indie and math-rock flourishes.
It at least makes this new self-titled EP stand out somewhat in the current climate, but there’s really not a lot to it. Especially on a track like ‘Hot-Headed’ that coasts by on lax, spindly guitar work, there’s something there that feels a bit toothless, especially when sat next to any number of other modern acts. It also doesn’t help that Faux don’t seem to pack a great deal into their arsenal, primarily relying on polite yet slightly colourless instrumentals and featherweight performances to do the greatest amount of work.
Still, even if the band are co-opting a sound that hasn’t really aged well, there are moments where they hit their stride for something a lot better. The more directly melodic ‘Around’ is probably the strongest overall moment, though the bass strut of ‘Some Nights’ has some nice flow that leads into a pretty potent chorus.
There’s something inherently likable about Faux, but unfortunately this EP doesn’t provide a great deal of evidence for why that’s a worthwhile prospect. Flashes come up here and there, but when there’s something concrete on offer, that’ll be the only time when Faux can really shine. For now, they’re pretty stuck in the middle of the road.
‘Faux’ EP by Faux is released on 16th June on Speaking Tongues.
Words by Luke Nuttall (@nuttall_luke)