California band Faulkner release their debut EP Revanchist, which is packed full of electro-pop rock and a touch of hip-hop swagger thanks to the RZA. The famed producer helped contribute to The Kill Bill soundtrack and adds a bit of cinematic drama here while Eric Scullin's keyboards owe a nod to classic cinema synth scores.
These Kids Nowadays kicks things off with an 8-bit video game intro, the band proudly proclaim themselves 'the voice of change'. It's an irreverent commentary on the age-old battle between the generations and how every new voice rages what has gone before. It's a fierce start to a thrilling debut.
Waters Are Rising continues the anarchistic punk influence that is present throughout the EP, even adding a comical pop Yankee Doodle style chorus which soon grows dark with an ominous drum and guitar riff. There's a twist as a final scream drags our singer into the water below.
Revolutionary is crammed full of mischievous devilment, 'the rebels and the misfits the world is our stage.' It has the stance of Wendy Carlos's soundtrack for A Clockwork Orange where you just get the feeling the band are up to no good. This is made more sinister by a seven dwarfs bouncing 'way-oh -eh-oh' chant. Keep Your Enemies Closer continues the anarchistic theme and begins with a Pet Shop Boysesque synth riff before building into a Breaking Bad story of power and corruption. The backing has the reminiscence of Giorgio Moroder's excellent Scarface soundtrack. Singer Lucas Asher's vocals are intimidating and commanding throughout. A piano middle fade out gives the track a melancholic sense of achievement mixed with the downfall of ultimate power. As you listen, just picture the end shot in Scarface of the 'world is ours' globe spinning round as Tony Montana lies amongst his fallen empire. It's a fitting image for a strong addition to the EP.
All I Wear Is Black rough vocals are delivered as a nod to Paint It Black By The Rolling Stones. The wails of the synths are matched by the staccato keys and grungy bass lines. NY Anthem (Wu Tang Slang) ft RZA pulls out the strings and the hip hop street element bringing a heavier, angrier sound to the album. The hard edge of the RZA is strengthened by the softer vocals from Asher bringing out the best of both genres. (Funnily enough, the 'world is ours' motif we mentioned earlier is actually spoken in this song. )
Revanchist is a debut EP expanding the parameters of the electro genre with a nod or two to the past masters. It's certainly entertaining, especially if you are a fan of the genres they fuse together. If not, their bad-ass attitude will certainly have you on their side by the time the last track fades.