Facebook: System of a Down Some turmoil is brewing in the camp of System of a…
- Posted on Oct 21st 2009 1:30PM by Mike Ayers
"Apparently we're from the future," Balthazar said half way through their set. "Someone said we were from the future." It wasn't that clear in what he was referring to, but looking at the band you'd think just the opposite. Dressed like something reminiscent of an old-timey sideshow, the group furthers this impression by the well-sculpted mustaches that a few of them don. It's not an overriding, distracting feature, but a feature nonetheless, that gives one the impression they could they play carnivals and guess your weight.
Appearances aside, Fanfarlo are tight musicians. They know their way around their instruments and often are multitasking during songs. A guitarist will become a drummer for a brief spell, only to revert back to said guitar moments later. Sometimes this feels distracting, but Fanfarlo's non-ironic demeanor would have you believe that this is an important feature of their act.
In the end, Fanfarlo tunes will most likely always be compared to Talking Heads with a splash of Belle and Sebastian thrown in for good measure. Balthazar's voice, by no fault of his own, sounds like a David Byrne stunt double -- he's a crooner at times, but his pitch is dead on. When the group comes together for 'The Walls Are Coming Down,' they literally stand side-by-side and harmonize in between trumpet solos. Often, tunes are augmented by a nice vocal presence from multi-instrumentalist Cathy Lucas, who might be the standout of this group, even though she's the most unassuming. Fanfarlo is definitely not from the future but instead are adept at playing off the past, in its various aesthetic forms.
Fanfarlo's debut album, 'Reservoir,' was released on Oct. 12 via Atlantic.