I love to pop a CD in without any knowledge of or preconceived ideas about a band. Foreign Born's latest On The Wing Now (Dim Mak) was one of these. Out of the mailbox, into the CD player, let's have a listen.
Man, what gorgeous collection of songs. One immediately thinks of early U2, but also Arcade Fire, Tokyo Police Club, many of the current Brit imports and the like. The opener "Union Hall" immediately grabs you and takes you where Foreign Born wants you to go. Then there's a shot from left field. "Into Your Dream" is the closest they come to a rocker.
The musicianship is impressive. Guitarist Lewis Pesacov's composition is often touted, and with good reason. The arrangements are what separates these reverb-washed atmospheric compositions from the nap-inducing Coldplay school of composition. There are super emotive vocals that hearken back to the indie rock of the late 80s and early 90s. The guitar is spartan single note lines mixed with heavily effected riffing, ambient squawks, and noise, all richly and intelligently layered.
And those drums! The percussion is out of this world and is really what lifts this album to another level. Often it seems unrelated to the song playing over it and even the mix has the drums sounding far off and otherworldly. Somehow this works.
The album is like a journey with each piece inescapably linked to the last. This culminates with Never Wrong deliciously building to a crescendo that never quite comes.
Yeah, I dig this record. What a fresh slap in the face of indie rock. Foreign Born has raised the bar.