When I saw Gang of Four in 2005, I'm not entirely sure what bassist Dave Allen
was doing because I was too busy trying to avoid the microwave shards flying into the audience as a result of frontman Jon King whaling on it with a baseball bat. Apparently, Allen was thinking that it was about time for a side project, because a year later, he formed Faux Hoax
with Menomena's David Seim
and Tracker's John Askew
They've finally emerged from their studio (from the sound of it, a cavernous bunker, perhaps in a volcano) with an EP titled Your Friends Will Carry You Home
. The EP is currently available as a two-song 7, with a download code for both tracks plus two bonus ones. The urgent drum beat and slasher-flick trumpet squeals on "Hippies Will Rule" make me long for another gleefully life-threatening live show, perhaps with more destruction of unsuspecting
appliances. Unfortunately, it's not clear if the project will ever tour, or even follow the EP with further releases. In fact, not a lot is known about Faux Hoax at all, except for their impressive resumes and their fondness for darkly ethereal, thick-layered tunes.
The real gem here is the title track a spoken-word ode to desperate friendship delivered over a steady beat and a haunting croon. Spoken tracks often lend themselves to preaching and yelling (think Nada Surf's "Popular" or Say Anything's "Admit It!"). This song just wants to reassure you that "you will get drunk / and you will get sad / and they will sit with you on grey curbs under yellow streetlights / and they'll let you talk / Your friends will carry you home." But home's not just where the hangover is. Faux Hoax reminds that sometimes the hardest part is staying with people not through benders but through babies, lame jobs, and growing up. It's part poetry, part wistful thank-you note.
The rest of the EP provides the same dark nostalgia, just with less words. Faux Hoax reminds that it's always good to have friends, whether they're bailing you out of jail in Texas or offering their talents for your random experimental side project. - Nina Mashurova
Faux Hoax on Myspace