Reviewed by Philip Woodward
"This record, along with the introduction, is an account and summer of chapters 1-5 from the book Fangs! adapted from the original screenplay 'Neptuenn's Cavern' by Jessy Ribordy." So say Oregon-based alternative band Falling Up, whose ambition you must admire. With 'Fangs', their fourth studio album proper, Falling Up, like their last album 'Captiva', have branched away from their heavier origins, employing more synths, more layers and creating an album based upon a Star Wars-esque screenplay also written by singer Jessy (don't smirk) Ribordy. Falling Up have, seemingly free from irony, created a concept album. Not that this should dishearten their old fans. While no songs on this disc contain the first-pumping "hits" of yesteryear, this is certainly not a band who are keen on settling down. There's still a lot of noise on this disc, but it is noise coupled with their new more ambient leanings. This makes this album Falling Up's most accomplished work to date. Quite often Falling Up are reminiscent of British band Biffy Clyro, albeit after a few days down the pub with the Mars Volta. Perhaps the pitfalls in Falling Up's latest offering are in its very nature. As past purveyors of the concept album as an art form have found, when trying to create one large body of work, some tracks get lost and tracks seem confused. Having said that, the fantastic "Swimming Towards Propellers" is a fitting end, understated and calm and pretty near perfect. Not an album for beginners then, but a challenging and ultimately rewarding listen.
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