Fall Seattle’s debut LP amassed two years for the Virginia crew to complete and those two years have now been completely justified.
The combination of genres and different sounds would seem impractical on paper, but when you hear them all together, it connects wonderfully. It’s hard to pinpoint Fall Seattle to any specific genre, as dream-pop turns into shoegaze and then into punk and so forth on this record. A safe-word would be indie rock, but that doesn’t do justice to Fall Seattle’s debut.
On tracks such as Wanda Johnson, Nothing You Can Hold On To and All Night, beach rock is the main supplier of rhythms and tone, both combining light guitar notes with heavier drum beats, for perfect summer iconography. Wanda Johnson blasts off into a state of euphoria, riding the dream-pop style of Smith Westerns, as Nothing You Can Hold On To and All Night roughen up their edges, as the guitars get an injection of pace and reverb, howling viciously on Nothing’ while moving rapidly on All Night, before taming to become stylistic hooks that complete both of the tracks.
Similarly, New York vicious guitars create punk-rock, travelling in a new direction. An opening few seconds of gritty reverb turn calm, while waiting for the explosion of ferocity in the chorus, with Fall’s melancholy turning into sudden aggression, as all parts suddenly erupt with pure angst.
Then just as Fall send your ears to being near deaf, Boyhood and Suburban Stain provide an immediate resting point. As shoegaze completely takes over Boyhood, layering heavy reverb with slow percussion, turning five minutes into a distorted dream of luscious, softened 90’s grunge meets dream-pop; Suburban Stain carries Fall’s genre blending further, as scarce guitar notes fall like light drops of water, then met by a sudden awakening as Suburban Stain passes its middle, awaiting the quick-fire opening of Nothing You Can Hold On To.
Tracks like Blau and Demon Son pin this idea that Fall Seattle don’t just work with one genre per song, but several genres within each track. An overtone of thudding, rock styled drums, with dreamy guitar riffs, blended together with near indie-emo vocals sounds confusing to read, but the auditory experience makes complete sense on Blau. While Demon Son on the opposite side, alters between heavy rock guitars that scream pure punk, which then transform into the works of Thee Oh Sees, combining both punk and slacker rock for an alluring, demoniacally controlled track.
Rather than to be depicted and nit-picked for every and any trait/different aspect on the album, Fall Seattle simply put, is nonsensical for making complete sense.
You don’t need to ask how dream-pop, punk, emo etc can work together on a track and an album. It just does.
There’s nothing too grand, nor pretentious about Fall Seattle’s debut LP. A simple mix of genres and sub-genres, all combined in a unfathomable, masterful unison, to create a nuclear focus point. It’s a complete breeze to listen to. No forced playthroughs are required, as Fall Seattle glides between genres in a beautiful style, that’s both effortless and intrinsically their own.