March 19th, 2013
Fol Chen returns with The False Alarms, hits from a secret dance party you haven’t been to yet. The Los Angeles band’s kaleidoscopic first two albums (Part I: John Shade, Your Fortune’s Made; Part II: The New December) offered a taste of everything: minimal electronic grooves and complex layers of organic sound pivoting across genres from rock to soul/funk to dance. The only constant across their extremes of experimentation, through all the asymmetrical rhythms and screwed vocals, was the consistency of their pop instincts. The vehicle for their musical ideas was always a tightly, meticulously synthesized earworm. Their third communication, The False Alarms, takes Fol Chen’s subversive strategy one leap forward.
There has always been a dark undercurrent to their music. Like a Philip K. Dick novel, Parts I & II warped the world around us into a cryptic, surreal vision of the future, sometimes to grotesque or even disturbing effect. But The False Alarms is that much more emotionally direct: funkier, funnier, sadder and sexier, sometimes all at once. This time, there’s no mistaking the lingering aftereffects of the slow toxin under the crunchy, ear-candy coating.
Buy it here.