Fell

A Farewell To Echoes
Vacant Songs

Fell mastermind Josh Wambeke spends much of this new album in deadly earnest, Beck-circa-Sea Change depressive space-folk mode, which would probably be welcome if he didn't seem so content to coast on opiated guitar strums and bland reverb-heavy vocals. Atmosphere at the expense of melody is the eternal Achilles' heel of shoe/space/dream/psych/what-have-you, and Wambeke transcends it exactly thrice: On "Psychedelic Tornado," with its out-of-nowhere 808 beat and delicious early-MBV guitar squalls; on "Eros," a lover's plea accompanied by quaint organ; and on the title track, which sounds like prairified Air. These three songs, united by their superior songcraft and broader sonic palette, point to a brighter future for Fell, one in which the band stands out more clearly from the reverb-and-fuzz-obsessed masses.

 
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