The False Alarms
A collective from the Los Angeles-area led by producers Samuel Bing and Julian Wass, Fol Chen have spent a few years honing an electronic tickle trunk sound marked by field recording manipulation, pop beats and vocals both sonically and lyrically warped. The sound is something they call "opera house," a phrase fittingly coined by English impresario Malcolm McLaren (Sex Pistols, Bow Wow Wow), but re-envisioned as beat-driven electronica with grand, operatic gestures and lyrically dense storytelling. It all sounds a bit grand and, indeed, their style can be a touch disorienting to the uninitiated, but Fol Chen achieve with The False Alarms something that eluded them on their first two albums. They have made their most consistent release yet, stretching the earworm-y catchiness their Weeds employed, Brian Cox endorsed single, "In Ruins," from Part II: The New December, over the course of an entire album. Part of this coherence must be credited to singer Sinosa Loa, who performs on all ten tracks, in a departure from the group's previous use of multiple lead singers, but the songwriting has become more complete as well, simultaneously less manic and more fleshed out. Listening to The False Alarms is like hooking up an I.V. drip with maple syrup to your arm.
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