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The Falcon - Unicornography (Cover Artwork)

The Falcon

The Falcon: UnicornographyUnicornography (2006)
Red Scare

Reviewer Rating: 4.5
User Rating:


Contributed by: sickboiChris
(others by this writer | submit your own)

So I had a recent dilemma. I received this album in the mail. My first reaction was the label. "Red Scare?" Is this some kind of communist bullshit? We here at Punknews.org have no intention of spreading facism and government oppression. Take that on over to KarlMarxnews.org... But I have an obli.
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So I had a recent dilemma. I received this album in the mail. My first reaction was the label. "Red Scare?" Is this some kind of communist bullshit? We here at Punknews.org have no intention of spreading facism and government oppression. Take that on over to KarlMarxnews.org...

But I have an obligation, and after careful examination of said label, discovered they have some quality bands signed. So after long discussions at the Punknews.org corporate headquarters, we decided to proceed with the review.

Apparently, the Falcon is a group a musicians attempting to finally discover musical success after several failed attempts. The band gained a small surge of hype, for one reason or another, after their debut EP gained some rather positive reviews. We've discussed how this occurence slipped under our corporate radar in many Monday morning board meetings. We attempted to search Ticketmaster to find their next tour, as such a highly successful band MUST be constantly touring, but alas, came up short.

End attempted gimmick review.

Many of you have been feverishly anticipating Unicornography like it was the second coming of Christ. With hype such as this, its purely bound to be terribly overrated, right? We'll see...

Briefly, for those of you new, welcome, and here's the lowdown. The Falcon consists of Brendan Kelly (the Lawrence Arms, Slapstick), Dan Andriano (Alkaline Trio, Slapstick), Neil Hennessey (the Lawrence Arms) and a little bit of Todd Mohney (formerly of Rise Against). The general sound can be described as high-energy, sarcastic Midwestern punk. Similar to Dillinger Four, and obviously the Lawrence Arms. Anyways...

Let's get right down to it, this is a fun album. Not to say the musicianship or lyrics are in anyway lacking, because both are top notch, for what's expected. Just don't expect this to be the life-changing album many have made it out to be. The only life-changing impact it may have on you is drinking too much while listening and doing something stupid (insert legal disclosure on behalf of Red Scare, the Falcon and Punknews.org for no liability, blah blah blah).

Right away, Unicornography starts with a track you'd almost expect, if that makes any sense. "The Angry Cry of the Angry Pie" has that quick, uptempo pace, shout-along lyrics and subtle breakdown into mellow bridge that would easily make it fit anywhere in the Lawrence Arms catalog. Then things get weird. "Blackout" starts with this folk-ska riff, which again, gives you Brendan's almost trademark gravelly vocals. Fellow 'Org editor Justin August explains the ska impression better than anyone I've spoken to yet:

"Ska with 'ohs and ahs' instead of horns."
The award for best obscure track name to match the song's overall attitude..."The La-Z-Boy 500"...though there's nothing lazy about how incredibly mellow, yet exciting this song is. Again, it has a kind of folk-rock flow to it that brings older Against Me! to mind (rumor has it Tom was originally asked to be a member of the Falcon, so this isn't too far of a stretch).

Two cuts from the band's prior EP are also re-recorded and included here. Normally, such a move would draw criticisms from many, but they actually sound BETTER and fit in nicely with the rest of the group. The only oddity in the group would be "R.L. Burnouts, Inc.," a slower-paced number that while still enjoyable, includes some guitar riffs/solos that would fit easily in the next Coors commercial.

The album's climax comes in the semi-title track, "The Unicorn Odyssey," maybe the greatest Slapstick song never written and/or recorded. A pleasantly upbeat jam that might even be skank-able. Dust off those skinny ties and checked clothing.

Closing this exciting, yet relaxed ride is "When I Give the Signal, Run!," which again brings in the mellow, 3rd-wave riffs, mixed with the continuing folk-punk theme consistant through the album, then exploding into a chorus worthy of wasted night of drinks and laughs with friends. However, it then blends into low-key breakdown of hums, whistles and slurred vocals, reinforcing my overall opinion that this album is the ska/Midwestern folk-punk interpretation of GNR's Lies.

The most endearing quality of Unicornography is how it seems to cross various musical boundries. I mean, blending ska with Midwestern punk would seem ridiculous, but not to those involved. A quick glance at their prior endeavors only serves as rational thought that his album was made by a group of friends for you to share with your group of friends. Sometimes hype is justified, as the Falcon have clearly proven. Maybe the ultimate "feel-good" album of 2006.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
The Lawrence Arms - Oh! Calcutta!The Lawrence Arms - The Greatest Story Ever ToldAgainst Me! - As The Eternal CowboyAlkaline Trio - GoddamnitThe Lawrence Arms - Apathy and ExhaustionAgainst Me! - is Reinventing Axl RoseNOFX - The DeclineRise Against - Revolutions Per MinuteThe Gaslight Anthem - Sink or SwimThe Lawrence Arms - Cocktails And Dreams

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
noiinteam (October 23, 2007)

fascism and communism are both just purely economic systems, and really have nothing to do with the social aspect of a society. and economically speaking, they are polar opposites.

StuckInBielers (September 12, 2007)

"Not only did this idiot spell Fascism wrong but he is definatley retarded because communism and fascim are exactly opposite and comparing them as equivalent makes that guy sound like an asshole, Nazi = Fascism, Russian = Communism, they fought each other in WW2. Just a heads up for everyone."
You absolute cretin! Learn some political history yourself before correcting others! Facism is a dictorial system of goverment which allows no opposition, so communist Russia was fascist. Nazism and communism are opposing ideologies not systems. As for saying Russian=communism, thats like saying German=nazi. Its a politcal stance not a nationality.

graphix (October 8, 2006)

My excitement grabs me quickly and pulls me in close. In my ear it whispers slowly and gently "I love you, I love you more than you'll ever be able to know".

That excitement, is directly porportional to the lust I have for this album.

In 15 years, when I'm sitting at my job in some office building - wondering where my life has lead me - I want this album to come onto my playlist and remind me of a time when I was still just "a stupid kid" making mistakes on my own and learning how this corrupted system of ours actually works.

I want to pickup my phone, dial my old friend's phone number and say "I wish we had never drifted apart."

This album. Never forget. Never forget

Godfather (September 28, 2006)

anything with brendan kelly better get some hype, but when dan adriano got thrown in the mix then you've obviously got to expect big things.....this cd is a solid 8

score is for my ticket to see the lawrence arms halloween night, bitches

Anonymous (September 28, 2006)

Karl Marx wasn't a fascist...

Anonymous (September 28, 2006)

While this album was hyped as shit, i feel it delivered pretty well. The only bummer is that its only 11 songs long and I already have two of them on "god don't make no trash"

un1tyasone (September 28, 2006)

I was told by someone at red scare that its on colored vinyl and this will most likely be the ONLY pressing they do. Mine should be here tomorrow.

feeeding5000 (September 28, 2006)

Colored vinyl is for jerks.

speeds (September 28, 2006)

not as good as calcutta, but still fucking good

someone-yeah (September 28, 2006)

It's pretty good but it's really short.

kingofsuck (September 28, 2006)

Does anyone know if it is on colored vinyl or just plain ol' black?

I'm still waiting for mine to come in the mail, but I've been told that it's on orange vinyl.

cash_money_hustla (September 28, 2006)

Does anyone know if it is on colored vinyl or just plain ol' black?

Ven89 (September 27, 2006)

"Not only did this idiot spell Fascism wrong but he is definatley retarded because communism and fascim are exactly opposite and comparing them as equivalent makes that guy sound like an asshole, Nazi = Fascism, Russian = Communism, they fought each other in WW2. Just a heads up for everyone."

Dude, it was a joke. Good album, not as good as Calcutta! but still good.

hawkeye52 (September 27, 2006)

Not only did this idiot spell Fascism wrong but he is definatley retarded because communism and fascim are exactly opposite and comparing them as equivalent makes that guy sound like an asshole, Nazi = Fascism, Russian = Communism, they fought each other in WW2. Just a heads up for everyone.

Kursk (September 27, 2006)

I like this, but it's pretty much just something to hold me over until the NEXT Lawrence Arms album. This albu was totally overhyped, especially by people who frequent this site I noticed and It just doesn't quite live up. This is coming from someone who considers The Lawrence Arms one of his top ten favorite bands. It's still a good album though.

Anonymous (September 27, 2006)

to the dumbass reviewer: It's FASCISM not FACISM

Anonymous (September 27, 2006)

The Falcon and Lawrence Arms is so OVERRATED

This shit is terrible.

jamespastepunk (September 27, 2006)

We overhyped it, but it's still an amazing record.

Anonymous (September 27, 2006)

Finally some haters show up, yes! These songs are all pretty bad ass.

feeeding5000 (September 27, 2006)

Yep. This is exactly the kind of melodic pop-punk that the entire population of punknews shits themselves over. Bleh.

sirens (September 27, 2006)

Lame

stuttermispronounce (September 27, 2006)

This is the best Lawrence Arms album of 2006.

jockmcbored (September 27, 2006)

enemy you are on nitro now

Anonymous (September 27, 2006)

Got it today, the old songs are better, new songs are best. 10/10.

kingofsuck (September 27, 2006)

Oh yeah, does anyone else think that's a friendly Ted Leo jab towards the end of the opening track with those high-pitched vocals?

You know, I never even thought of that until now, but I can definitely see what you mean.

Anonymous (September 27, 2006)

on the pop punk board Red Scare saya it's a Red Scare show. Hmmm...enemy you and bottle rocket?

theonetruebill (September 27, 2006)

Thursday, October 19: The Falcon & Special Guests

The Metro, Chicago.

go crazy, you fuckers.

Skanknsmile (September 26, 2006)

you know, i bet this sounds great. from what i heard very reminicent of slapstick, but....

orgcore.

TRiGGS (September 26, 2006)

Album of the year.

drunkenriot (September 26, 2006)

i couldn't find this today, i almost killed myself

Anonymous (September 26, 2006)

tom mohney who played in rise against was in falcon. he played on their ep.

bryne (September 26, 2006)

I love this record. Definitely in my top 5 for the year.

sharksss (September 26, 2006)

tom gable was asked to be a part of the falcon??? my lord that would haven been somthing else!

Anonymous (September 26, 2006)

Bullets To Broadway need to get more respect from Red Scare. Seems like the label doesn't mention them that often, and they are the band that tours the most. They are blowing up over here in the UK.

Anonymous (September 26, 2006)

actually, to the guy way below, according to an interview on emotionalpunk, Brendan played about 70% of the guitar solos and all the rhythm guitars. The remaining solos were done by Neil.
Great record. Absolutely awesome.

Anonymous (September 26, 2006)

to those who say this is overrated, or that an over abundance of fluff is being spread about these chicago men.

I have not come across a more unique group of musicians then those from slapstick.

from that band, you've got colassal, broadways, honor system, alkaline trio, lawrence arms, and now the falcon.

one thing in life will always be constant, any band that is ex-slapstick will kick ass.

Anonymous (September 26, 2006)

i wonder what actual review on ap.net that first little tidbit is a rip off off.... i think i might know

inagreendase (September 26, 2006)

Oh yeah, does anyone else think that's a friendly Ted Leo jab towards the end of the opening track with those high-pitched vocals?

mcgregor107 (September 26, 2006)

three words:
fuzzy pink hand-cuffs.

remainsunseen (September 26, 2006)

i

remainsunseen (September 26, 2006)

i

remainsunseen (September 26, 2006)

i

Anonymous (September 26, 2006)

Yawn. I can't get into this. All the hype on this site is no different than AP.net jocking Hawthorne Height's new record. Just different styles of music.

TheNightProwler (September 26, 2006)

The Falcon are playing a show at the Metro on Thursday October 19th.

Shame I can't make it to Thursday shows :(

SixKidsCatholic (September 26, 2006)

Great album, Unicorn Odyessy is fighting it out with Lose your illusion 1 for my song of 2006.

I whole-heartedly concur! Both number 8 on the tracklisting.

stuttermispronounce (September 26, 2006)

how could this not be painfully overrated? at least its better than the new Lawrence Arms.

otter (September 26, 2006)

I like this way better than the lawerance arms. I think the new Saosin album came out today also.

wyzo (September 26, 2006)

This band is over rated. Over rated bands can still be awesome bands.

I like there music, I'm not rabid about it, but its a good band in a world of typically bad ones. Cheers to them.

That said, The Falcon is still not putting out anything I'm going to listen to more than once, but if they're happy making it, its okay with me.

The cover is amazing.

wyzo

Anonymous (September 26, 2006)

More Punknews hyperbole. I'll pass on this, thanks.

Scruffy (September 26, 2006)

You win.

joeg (September 26, 2006)

i give scruffy's explanation on rating albums a 7. sickobi's was more exhaustive and detailed so i give him an 8.

Scruffy (September 26, 2006)

I understand your rating system, but I still can't see this as a 9. The way I see it, a 10, no matter the genre, should be a perfect record in the reviewer's eyes. And I think that no one should have more than 2 or 3 perfect records.
A 9 should therefore be near-perfect records. 9s should be reserved for the records that would be 10s save for a few flaws.
I'd give this an 8, as it's awesome, but nothing life-changing.

jumptheshark (September 26, 2006)

Awesome album. Definitely one of my favorites of the year.

Pretty lame review, though

Anonymous (September 26, 2006)

this album is wonderful. chicago punk never lets down

Anonymous (September 26, 2006)

this is a shit review. you sound like anidiot. the opening is shit. fuck off...loser

aahhhh (September 26, 2006)

is there an itunes exclusive track?

Anonymous (September 26, 2006)

just because theres an acoustic guitar doesn't fucking making it folk punk. christ people, get off this fucking shit.

Anonymous (September 26, 2006)

II agree Red Eyed Soul > Everything else this year.

Even if Jesus made a record and released it befor years end, wouldn't matter.

kingofsuck (September 26, 2006)

this beats out Crimson if we really want to get anal.

Well, duh.

un1tyasone (September 26, 2006)

You know i thought earlier this summer about ska mixed with folk and if was really possible for it to sound good. I had been sitting there wishing i was in a band of sorts to see if was concievable. And then when this leaked i kept thinking this was it and it was possible. But at the same time I thought i must have been mislabling things and was wrong. But it looks like I wasnt the only one hearing it. Awesome.

inagreendase (September 26, 2006)

Man, I wouldn't buy an album I think is only half-good (telegraph). But this is definitely better than halfway good, luckily.

And yeah, Oh! Calcutta! is better, but this beats out Crimson if we really want to get anal.

telegraphrocks (September 26, 2006)

Oh, and I still went out and bought it.
Knowing the actual lyrics and getting the feel for the album through the booklet does help a lot.

If I didn't actually pick the album up, and just had the burned copy, I'd probably give this a 3.

telegraphrocks (September 26, 2006)

Half of this is pretty good, half is pretty not.

I'd say 1,2,8,10,and 11 are pretty awesome (the last being VERY awesome), and the rest are just boring as hell.

I had extremely high hopes for this, and after a month (or so?) since it leaked, it still hasn't lived up to them.

Definitely the worst thing Brendan has done.

sickboi (September 26, 2006)

I'm gonna explain the way I score albums, as it may differ from what many of you are used to.

Basically, I score on expectation and personal enjoyment. Its no secret that punk/punkrock/hardcore isn't the most technical or innovative music out there. It is, however, every honest. It also speaks almost directly to the listener.

This is the second album I've given a 9 to this year. The other, Ryan's Hope. Wanna know why? Ryan's Hope caught me by suprise. It came out of nowhere and for such a young band to create such a fun and enjoyable record, it blew me away. This album is just pure good times. And I believe those are the qualities everyone should look at when critiquing. Otherwise, we'd listen to nothing but the Mars Volta.

Godfather (September 26, 2006)

really good album....not quite as good as the larry arms, but pretty damn close

Scruffy (September 26, 2006)

"I'd rather listen to Radiohead than this band, but who wouldn't? "

Um, me, for one. And probably anyone on this thread who'd rather hear passionate rock than obtuse "metaphorical" meandering that masquerades as genius simply because it's not an obvious sound.

Also, a 9? I mean, I like this album, but it's not a 9. It's got way too many flaws.

baseball (September 26, 2006)

i agree, so is Tennessee

there's a couple weak ones on the new one around tracks 7-9 but the first 6 tracks and last 3 are some of my favorite Lucero tracks ever

Tennessee>RRSB>That Much Further West>Nobody's Darling in my opinion

Anonymous (September 26, 2006)

albums of the year so far

1. red eyed soul
2. unicornography
3. gold record
4. three cheers for disapointment
5. aggrolites

Big_Guy (September 26, 2006)

I don't know dude, That Much Further West is pretty great all the way through

danperrone (September 26, 2006)

the new lucero has some of their best songs on it, but just like any other lucero album, it fails to be good the whole way through...there are some total duds on there

baseball (September 26, 2006)

good review

extremely fun record to listen to

i still have to give the best release of today award to Lucero though over this, Lemonheads, and Samiam

mikeinflames (September 26, 2006)

ps it sucks this it out on red scare
they tried to get punktorrents shut down not too long ago

mikeinflames (September 26, 2006)

great album
but sorry guys Oh! Calcutta is a much stronger album than this
this is definately top 10 of the year material though

and i thought todd left the band after the EP?!

venicebeachxc (September 26, 2006)

Sex with a porcupine (or My mom is a concubine)

m-oo (September 26, 2006)

I think most people prefer the E.P songs rather than the new re-recorded versions for the simple fact we have been listening to the E.P on repeat since we opened the cd box.

Great album, Unicorn Odyessy is fighting it out with Lose your illusion 1 for my song of 2006.

Moo

sprainedsoul (September 26, 2006)

"this record is about being drunk and fucked up. and so of course we all like it. i doubt you'll see it on any absolute punk year end lists. this thing needs to come with a beer mug and a dime bag."

Comment of the day. Anyone for a Alk3/Larry Arms/Falcon string of dates?

ramo (September 26, 2006)

This album from the "orgcore" favorites is pretty cool. Definitely a feel-good album in the sense. It truly makes you want to sing along (drunk if you ever see them live). It has traces of early Against Me! and Ann Beretta so I'm not complaining.

Ramo

cuapunkradio (September 26, 2006)

and now for the album

cuapunkradio (September 26, 2006)

so there are promotional copies. brian ching is finished

jockmcbored (September 26, 2006)

really liked the EP but i'm not keen on this. Maybe it's a grower. I actually think the EP versions of the 2 songs were better

sickboi (September 26, 2006)
Anonymous (September 26, 2006)

fix the falcon page on the stream page!!! its fucked up right? i cant listen to any songs. what the fuuuuuuuuuuuuck?

vjonnyv (September 26, 2006)

I can't wait until tomorrow to pick up. And shame on you leakers.

FuckYouOiOiOi (September 26, 2006)

how come it doesn't say 'staff'?

Anonymous (September 26, 2006)

I guess I don't get it? I think the Lawrence Arms are ALRIGHT. They aren't anything spectacular and the last good song I've heard from them was Nebraska on Asian Man days. Since then everything Brendan (and Dan for that matter) has been pretty average. I'd rather listen to Radiohead than this band, but who wouldn't? They're pretty bad. Maybe they'll sell 300 records though, who knows.

sickboi (September 26, 2006)

Nah Colin....best liners are:

Additional vocals by Tobias "how many cocks is too many cocks" Jeg

and

Totally awesome guitar solo by Chris "the people's champ" McCaughan

letmego (September 26, 2006)

It's pretty good but i prefer Oh! Calutta! over this.

Dan sound so good in When I Give The Signal, Run! (best song IMO) he should had more solo singing..

4/5

colin (September 26, 2006)

i managed to pick up a copy of this at amoeba this weekend.

in the liner notes it says "todd mohney is supposed to be in here somewhere, but we couldn't find him."

also, for all those jocking brendan no this, the liners reveal it's mostly neil. he plays lead guitar and drums, engineered and mainly produced it. while brendan sings and wrote (the absolutely stellar) lyrics, it's a big neil project it seems.

also after having the liner notes i love this album even more. the lyrics on this record are fan-fucking-tastic.

"these so called hit lists are nothing more than fat fuck lullabies. man i've had better hits on my tongue in the park on friday nights."

this record is about being drunk and fucked up. and so of course we all like it. i doubt you'll see it on any absolute punk year end lists. this thing needs to come with a beer mug and a dime bag.

LeightonESmith (September 26, 2006)

This cd is why a word like "orgcore" exists.

Not a bad cd. Chilled. Fun.

GreatStoryOfApathy (September 26, 2006)

Colin-
Agree 100%.

Also, what did Todd do on this record? Was he even on it?

kingofsuck (September 26, 2006)

Honestly, the first few times I heard this I wasn't that impressed with it, but it's grown on me a lot. I personally don't think it's worth nine or ten stars, but I wouldn't say that giving it that score is rediculous.

sickboi (September 26, 2006)

Someone already got his advance copy of the next Falcon album...

Anonymous (September 26, 2006)

......you do realize what kind of people are on this website, right? Of course its getting 9s and 10s, they could record the sounds of farm animals having sex and release it as a Larry Arms side project and it would still get at least an 8

sickboi (September 26, 2006)

Dan -

To be honest, I offered to review this because I thought I would be the most critical of it. After a few listens I was thinking maybe 7 at the most. But I put it on while beginning to write it, and it just clicked. My score is based completely on how this record makes me feel, and the enjoyment I get from it, not from its status of "classic" or "cultural signifigance".

danperrone (September 26, 2006)

dare i say you guys are overrating this just a TAD

it's obviously fun...but nines and tens? sheesh

7 all the way, i don't see how this deserves more

colin (September 26, 2006)

"unicorn odyssey" will be on my year end mixtape. amazing amazing song.

as for the record itself, i prefer the aggressive nature of the EP but i guess the new arms album has that.

the worst part is this would have been the perfect summer record, why release it in fucking late september?

either way, a solid album that lives up to the hype.

Anonymous (September 26, 2006)

I can only imagine how insanely good this band would be with Tom Gabel in it. I don't think God would allow that.

MikeStupid (September 26, 2006)

Absolutely fan-fucking-tastic album.

GlassPipeMurder (September 26, 2006)

Damn, what a day for new music.

GreatStoryOfApathy (September 26, 2006)

Good review. I was definitely thinking early Against Me! folk sound on the songs you mentioned, but I thought I was crazy and describing them completely wrong.

The redone songs probably do sound better, but since I'm so familiar with them, it ruins the flow of the record for me and damages it slightly. The only question left is whether it's better than Oh Calcutta or not.

Lazy Boy is my song of the year though.

kingofsuck (September 26, 2006)

I like it. Yep.

BrendanKelly (September 26, 2006)

one of my favs this year.

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