Fanfarlo – Reservoir Fanfarlo – Reservoir

Fanfarlo - Reservoir

Fanfarlo - Reservoir

What comes to my mind when thinking of aviation, exorcism and celestial beings?

Hmm. . . . a warped horror flick gone wrong with lack of funding. Maybe Samuel L. Jackson’s Snakes on a Plane, but with extraterrestrials instead. There are an infinite amount of combinations and light bulb ideas you could have. Fanfarlo opted to looking back at the history books. Trans World Airline pilots, 20th century Venetian priests and science fiction novelists are the lyrical muses to their songs. London based and making headlines, the band recently released their debut album Reservoir, currently on tour in The United States. Fanfarlo is not English, but a French literary title named after a 19th century novella, La Fanfarlo. The poet Charles Baudelaire’s one and only novel about living the life of a dandy, or middle class gentleman fixated on imitating the aristocratic lifestyle.

I wonder if Fanfarlo sees dandyism as rising from the ashes, or an obsession with materialism? This band’s foundation is built on literacy to the point that they have made critical remarks to other musicians’ intelligence. Claiming nobody who is “cool” likes to admit they read. In an interview with Melophobe, the band declares “We’re intellectuals. That’s an unpopular thing for bands to say.”

It might be unpopular to be an intellectual in England, which I doubt because Europe is a thriving center for literature, but reading is definitely acceptable for artists to do in America. It’s just unpopular to communicate intellectuality in that way because it almost sounds like a bunch of upper class capitalists sitting around in a gentleman’s club. Are audiences to sit and wait as a poorly educated mass, to hear their music? Artists and musicians are one of the most well read people I know; the amount of conceptualized writing and theory-based elements that go into their work is immense.

If per chance Fanfarlo is against seeming like a dandy themselves, and this band is only meaning to refer to the corporate label whores (guys included) made rich with the exploitation of their looks and likelihood of high tween product sales, rather than their brilliant songwriting, then there is a possibly I was being harsh. Either way I get an image of a glorified book club that has a unique spin to writing songs based on historical figures.

Unfortunately that is the only originality Fanfarlo has, and when the average Jane is putting on her headphones Reservoir might seem somewhat detached. An album that is hard to fall in love with. “Finish Line” is my favorite track with the lyrics “Kerosene is my last line of defense/Against all the rules I’ve bent,” but it still feels like just a phase I’ll go through and be done with.

Often compared to Arcade Fire, Fanfarlo sounds “less” doomed, but contains similar melancholic lyrics. Arcade Fire’s piano keys pressed somewhat harder or the beauty of Win Butler’s urgently desperate vocals makes Fanfarlo appear exasperatingly apathetic. There is no doubt Fanfarlo has a passion for music or they wouldn’t have gotten this far, but how do they make it not sound so second- rate?

Reservoir works within modern faucets shared by already popularized bands, but they do allow for a sort of fictional perspective to develop that is contemporary. David Bowie is the shit and he endorsed Fanfarlo, so we might be surprised, or we’ll just realize how great David Bowie is comparably.

Fanfarlo - Reservoir, reviewed by Bootsie on 2010-03-04T14:57:57-08:00 rating 2.9 out of 5

2 Responses about “Fanfarlo – Reservoir”

  • rowe says:

    I can’t help but hate this band after reading this. “We’re intellectuals”…who says that?

  • Charles says:

    SNAP! but agreed. Though humility may be the last bastion of the sociopath no one who can actually buy drinks at your show gives a shit about your brain power. This isn’t reading rainbow. This is rock and roll.