July 31st 2017 – Self-released
01. Fata Morgana
02. Talbot’s Creed
04. Project Conjunct Neptune
06. The Tenth Planet
My introduction to Falloch came off the back of their 2014 effort This Island, Our Funeral. It was in its own way a charming album that hit all of the buttons one might expect from a doom-edged post-rock record. In the space of three years, things have changed: no longer with their label, it appears Falloch have undergone something of a metamorphosis, and the announcement of follow-up Prospice came just four days before its release date – after months of complete silence.
The band liken Prospice to a solar system, where each track is its own little planet interconnected by the cosmic forces that surround us. They’re not wrong; with this record they’ve taken the band back to the drawing board and whilst some of Falloch remains, it’s been largely deconstructed in order to build something more unique. Bringing in a jazz drummer and a guest vocalist in the forms of Paúl González and Amaya López-Carromero respectively, this is a bold move – but does it pay off?
From the very beginning of “Fata Morgana” it’s clear that this is an entirely new beast. Bursting into bright effervescent sparks, guitars dance hand in hand with some rather smart cymbal work, and as the vocals fall into place the song shifts on a knife edge, never lingering in one place. There are still elements of doom here, but wrapped in waves of pure tranquility. Each of the tracks is structurally unique, whilst retaining a feeling that their shared universe is somehow interconnected. It is with “Meridian” however that the album’s direction finally coalesces: this slow blooming track breathes in essences of discordant shoegaze, with Amaya’s ethereal vocals washing over each note that eventually fade out into static.
Throughout the seven tracks of Prospice is an ebb and flow of interconnected particles that pulse in the most frenetic manner “Pluto Conjunct Neptune” is one of the more unpredictable songs on offer. bringing in jazz-edged chaos that builds a palpable tension which continues to mount before imploding into “Solution“, a softer undertaking that delves head and heart into the sexier side of jazz. Sultry drum lines respire as vocals sooth before careening into an all out instrumental assault.
“The Tenth Planet” and “Prospice” round out what is a short, but ultimately sweet record. Condensing the essence of every track on Prospice, is utlilises flamenco guitars over swelling synths before building in tempo to collide approaches that in theory shouldn’t fit together, but it’s a cohesive exploration, including one brief midsection that feels reminiscent of Blondie’s “Atomic“.
It’s clear that Falloch have utilised their time away perfectly, with the core of the band even ditching their day jobs in order to focus on getting this record out. Despite a rather ballsy switch in approach the band still retain a decidedly Falloch sound that has become something more. Experimentation is never a bad thing when it’s done in order to progress the art not to just add weirdness for it’s own sake. Prospice is a perfect example of the former and it could well put Falloch on a track to excellence.