Fa Fa Fa - What Made Those Holes and Rents (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Fa Fa Fa

What Made Those Holes and Rents (2011)


Fa Fa Fa emerged from the ashes of local Reno act the Touques, who self-released a pretty decent little self-titled EP back in 2009 of atmospheric, classic rock and psychedelia-infused indie pop. While Fa Fa Fa move their influences forward a decade or two, it works in this debut full-length's favor.

For starters, Fa Fa Fa takes their name from the chorus in Talking Heads' "Psycho Killer". So when "Camden", the opener to What Made Those Holes and Rents starts with steadily dizzying riffs and affected, reverb-touched, sauntering vocals, that influence makes itself pretty clear. Count that for the funkier, clipped strums in "Palisade", too, and the singing in "Horns for Horns". But "Camden", "Palisade", "Horns for Horns", and the larger album as a whole, really, isn't just aping 77; there's plenty of more modern guitar tones and fussy drum fills that better give the band its own identity, even when playful spasms crop up in something like "Roy Stampler". Closer "Give the Lie to" builds with a prolonged, groove-laden cross-section with some Pink Floyd brushes, while "Goodbye Horses", though a cover of the one-hit-wonder Q Lazzarus, takes the '80s/'90s hit best associated with The Silence of the Lambs and adds more Psychedelic Furs/Bowie-esque tones to it.

An obscure comparison I drew with the Touques' EP was Robbers, a Long Island brother band to Brand New with their own flavor of weird indie rock spruced up with classic influences. While it may not help a whole lot of listeners, the two now seem like pretty fair genre compatriots, between the subtle little spasms and quirky riffs and pedals.

Though not a completely compelling effort start to finish, What Made Those Holes and Rents has a certain character and procession that's interesting. This is a decent debut with plenty of room for improvement and more creative and dynamic ideas.

What Made Those Holes and Rents