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CD Review: Falcon

Falcon

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The Deal: Fitting tribute to little-known late teenage prodigy.

The Good: This one has to begin with the back story: the five cuts on this EP were culled from the library of songwriting prodigy Jared Falcon, who died from spinal meningitis at the age of 14 having written 336 songs – recorded onto a cheap cassette player – from Jan. 1987 to Feb. 1988. Yup, that's practically a song a day. Two of his junior high classmates, Neil Rosen and Longwave's Shannon Ferguson, discovered the tapes years later while helping the Falcon family move. Blown away by what they heard, they formed the band in 2003 specifically to bring these songs into the light, and have done an impressive job fleshing out the lo-fi guitar-and-voice sketches into lushly textured, soft/loud indie rock. Not surprisingly, there's a definite shoegaze vibe consistent with a Longwave RIYL, Swervedriver and Slowdive probably topping that list. Combining these epic sonics with the late Falcon's mix of teenage-appropriate melancholy and beyond-his-years observations lifts these songs above their station. The adolescent-like warbles in Rosen's voice only heighten the effect, as on EP highlight "Listen In," where a simple line like "had a friend for most of my life/till I lost him" winds up packing a real emotional wallop. With 300 more songs to play with, this is a fitting – and hopefully ongoing – tribute.

The Bad: You'd like to hear these songs done in other styles, too, as it's hard to tell where Falcon the boy and Falcon the band begin and end.

The Verdict: Promising, but Longwave fans should be happiest.

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