Local rock band FonFon Ru released their new album “Collapse of The Silver Dream” on Bandcamp through the label Repeating Cloud last Friday! The album was fantastic from start to finish and had loads of gusto and a ton of power, with sensitive lyrics that are not only conscious of social issues but conscious of the human condition. Sonically, they have a rock sound with undertones of punk attitude and a ton of indie character. They have speed, power and melody. The album has a hazy but precise feel and utilizes a lot of keyboards and samples as well as the classic combination of drums, bass and guitar punching through the mix. The lead singer, Harry James wails and howls about the plight of the working class human in today’s society and also has a tone of sincere compassion about personal issues and flaws that they see in their life and in others. You can hear a genuine sincerity in their voice and tonally the vocals similar to Nick Cave mixed with some Michael Gira from Swans.
Not only are they lyrically incredibly relevant, but they also employ a new and fresh sound, which is difficult to do with a traditional musical setup. Harry James and Cormac Brown’s guitars are noisy and deafening, and can range from intense and pummeling to gentle and atmospheric, choppy and sharp to chunky and distorted. There is a wide range of tonalities in the guitar playing which shows some diversity- I believe to great effect. Bassist Jimi Ledue’s lines are grooving and have a certain contrast against the noisy and loose playing of Cormac and Harry’s guitar playing. He is a very precise player and, along with drummer Wes Sterrs, creates a tight and rhythmic foundation for the hazy and shredding guitar to balance and counter each other. They are an incredibly dynamic band and they create a sonic collage of intense loud and gentle quiet. This creates a ton of variety and allows for some really fun songs that really hold interest to the listener. Personally, I think that Harry James singing while playing some rather complex riffs is super impressive and I think that they have an incredible voice and really great guitar chops. My favorite tracks from this new album are “Boy, What A Blessing” and “You’re Alone And Happy In Here”.
In conclusion, FonFon Ru is one of my new local favorites and I urge the listener to check out more great local bands along with them. The Portland area is bursting with new talent and scene veterans that continue to inspire and amaze. We are rather isolated from the rest of the United States, and with isolation comes some very insular and interesting talent that is unique and has a special charm that only this area can create.
Check out FonFon Ru through the links below!
Categories: Arts & Culture