Friday, 24 August 2007


01 union hall
02 into your dream
03 trial wall
04 it wasn't said to ask
05 letter of inclusion
06 nights tall
07 don't take back your time
08 holy splinter
09 keep it all inside
10 in the shape
11 never wrong

"Grand entrances don't get much better than "Union Hall," the opening track from Foreign Born's debut, On the Wing Now. Here's what I mean: The drum roll that ushers in the song quickly bleeds into monastery-style chanting, with big, echoed handclaps for percussion -- going double-time every couple of measures and purposely throwing off lead singer Matt Popieluch's vocals -- with the ringing brightness of what is possibly a mandolin filling the empty spaces. Then, at about the halfway mark, the guitars crank in for the chorus-y breakdown, multiplying and crowding the track as Poplieluch's words, now desperate and buried, resonate louder than ever.

That's the San Francisco-and-L.A.-based band at its most theatrical. But emotions run high throughout On the Wing Now, as if all the dramatic sounds -- Lewis Pesacov's reverb-drenched guitars, Garrett Ray's hopping drums and cymbal swells, Ariel Rechtshaid's tight bass lines -- have fallen under the spell of Popieluch's haunting, Jesus & Mary Chain-influenced delivery. Foreign Born's energy becomes its own instrument; each song lifts with the delight of something unplanned and yet perfectly right, often within a matter of seconds. The brief crescendo of acoustic guitar, electric guitar and pulsing percussion that begins "Letter of Inclusion," for example, aches and twists into something so striking, so beautiful, that the next three minutes have a hard time recovering from it." Prefix Mag

No comments: