Favourite Sons Down Beside Your Beauty

Pulsing guitars, skittering hi-hat and a deep, emotive lead vocal? Not only is it the sound du jour, but, done well, like Interpol, it can lead to a great intensity that rivets the listener into place. But, when the tension is off, just a bit, it can come off derivative and even slightly ridiculous. Philadelphia-via-Brooklyn’s Favourite Sons don’t delve into the depths of ridiculousness, but they also don’t hit the heights of intensity. They stake a common middle ground that brings some delights, but none really all that sublime. The title track tingles with Ken Griffin’s Buckley-esque yearning and a driving drum beat, yet there still seems something off about it, almost like indecision behind the sound that Favourite Sons want to inhabit. Are they dark and brooding, or do they want to lighten up? These seem to be questions that they battle throughout their debut. Thus, the effort suffers due to it being not as cohesive as one might hope. There is plenty of great foundation here, but the final construction seems to sway a bit too much under certain pressure. (Vice)