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Favourite Sons - Down Beside Your Beauty

Favourite Sons, Down Beside Your Beauty

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3.5 out of 5

THIS band exists to talk about the things you go through when you confront the big stuff: love, regret, fear,” explains Ken Griffin, the singer and principle songwriter of new band, Favourite Sons.

“We’ve all been right to that edge, pushed through it and now we’re back to show people the other side, as brutal as it might be.”

It’s quite a striking claim but it’s born from bitter personal experience given that Griffin was once the creative force behind 90s art rock band, Rollerskate Skinny, while the other four Sons cut their teeth with Philly-based psych-pop group Aspera.

Each member has flirted with giving up the music industry but now they’re back and hoping for some recognition as Favourite Sons – and they just might achieve it.

Inspired by the “brutal, unsentimental” songwriting style of people like Lou Reed and David Bowie, the album is marked by Griffin’s gruff, confessional-style vocals, and some thundering guitars and rhythm sections.

It’s certainly a sombre affair in places, tackling difficult subjects and telling it plainly how it is. On foreboding tracks like Tear The Room Apart, lyrics include “sweetheart, you’re killing me” as a central chorus, while even on more upbeat, heady efforts such as Round Here there are references to “chicken blood bitches in the slaughterhouse”.

The guitars are especially notable on the grimly ironic Pistols & Girls, a song dripping with a sense of foreboding and loaded with images of girls with guns and slaughterhouse boys. Griffin’s vocals assume an intensity that recalls the Johnny Cash of One, or artists such as Nick Cave and Lou Reed at their most bluesy and depressed.

There’s a rockier vibe surrounding Hang On Girl but the lyrics remain dark – exploring the nature of loneliness and longing from two different perspectives. But at least the track contains a vibrancy that prevents it from drifting into anything too heavy.

Certainly, fans of rock music that’s been stripped down to its most visceral elements will be impressed with the power, conviction and utter honesty that the album delivers. Its raw, passionate and gutsy and isn’t interested in pandering to the mainstream.

Some may find it depressing (and it certainly won’t lift any moods) but if you like things straight-forward, unflashy and don’t mind rock to be a little darker in a Lou Reed kind of way, then this offers a suitably fulfilling experience.

Track listing:

  1. When You’re Away From Me
  2. No One Ever Dies Young
  3. Down Beside Your Beauty
  4. The Tall Grass
  5. Rise Up
  6. Tear The Room Apart
  7. Round Here
  8. Pistols & Girls
  9. Hang On Girl
  10. Walking Here
  11. The Things That We Do To Each Other

  1. LOVE IT

    Bonnie    Nov 10    #