FF, ‘Lord’ (Couple Skate)
Seattle’s FF plays fast-paced, fuzzed-out guitar rock stripped to its melodic core — the kind you’d be thrilled to happen upon at a basement show.
The issue with the trio’s debut “Lord,” though, is that anyone with even a cursory knowledge of bands like My Bloody Valentine and Sonic Youth has heard these songs before. Tremolo-bending opener “Dead Head” doesn’t just conjure vintage MBV — it sounds like a cover. So does the coolly detached SY homage “It’s Alright.”
And while you may not know the Olympia group Gun Outfit — though if you don’t, you should — B-sides “Past Year” and “Come to Pass” appropriate their jangly, cascading riffs, high-energy drumming and alluring boy-girl vocal dynamic.
This isn’t to say “Lord” is without merit. The mid-fi production suits the material well, and certain tracks, namely “Caught in a Dream,” show strong pop sensibilities.
For a band’s first album to represent the sum of its influences isn’t uncommon. Now that we know what FF likes, however, next time it’d be nice to get more insight into who they actually are.
Other new releases
Sleater-Kinney, “Start Together,” limited edition 7 LP box set (Sub Pop)
Fox and the Law, “Stoned to Death” (self-released)
Taylor Swift, “1989” (Big Machine)