Faux Hoax – Your Friends Will Carry You Home
Record Label: Polyvinyl
Release Date: May 19, 2009
Supergroups, as we all know by now, are a curious phenomenon. Within the mind’s eye of the average fan, they seem like a supremely exciting concept, but reality typically has other ideas. Sometimes, especially when band members unite to create something well outside of their collective comfort zones, supergroups can succeed (see: The Sound of Animals Fighting, United Nations, etc). Other times, though, the “band” just doesn’t quite coalesce (ahem*Two Tongues*ahem) or it sounds exactly like what it is: a bunch of friends jamming in a basement.
Portland, Oregon’s Faux Hoax (pronounced “folks”) represents both sides of the coin. Sure, it does sound like a bunch of friends jamming in a basement, but it’s this sort of laid back, deliriously homegrown feel that makes Your Friends Will Carry You Home a success. Faux Hoax coaxed members of Gang of Four (Dave Allen), Tracker (John Askew), and Menomena (Danny Seim) into collusion with a revolving door of guest musicians to form a melting pot of experimental relaxation. The group is still in its infancy, but the four tracks of their intrepid first effort are quite interesting, to say the least.
The title track dresses a backbone bass line in blips and beats and studio drums; it’s a pleasant mix of performed and processed parts over the top of which is tossed a gritty, spoken-word elocution concerning the finer points of friendship. What may initially sound like trite exercise (spoken-word, really?) actually works because the off-handed and distracted nature of the speech dovetails perfectly with the easygoing riffs ambling behind it. This atmosphere contrasts with the dissonant first two and a half minutes of “Hippies,” but once the wistful vocals ease onto the scene, we’re chilled out again. In terms of composition and musical execution, “Hippies” is clearly the exclamation point of the EP. The first digital bonus track, “Foxworthy,” follows in the footsteps of its predecessor without being entirely remarkable while the second, “Underwood (A Type of Remix),” strays way too far into the depths of electronic to be at all appealing. Fortunately, they’re just bonus tracks and can safely be ignored.
Faux Hoax seems to have a good thing going. Your Friends Will Carry You Home is a brief, albeit promising, debut and it still remains to be seen where this band will fall in the realm of super groups. The outlook is bright, however, as we’re certain to see some more carefree experimentation from Faux Hoax in the future.
i bought this and thought it was a shame they didn't mention who their vocalists were. kind of dickish if you ask me. i had to look them up because a) i thought the vocalist on track one (turns out, adam gnade) was great and b) i thought the vocalist on track two (turns out, joe haege) was rubbish. so, side a, totally groundbreaking thanks to the vocals. side b, boring. bonus tracks, mediocre. but i'd buy it again (or free download it() for track 1