Faraquet
The View From This Tower


4.0
excellent

Review

by timbo8 USER (49 Reviews)
September 7th, 2018 | 13 replies


Release Date: 2000 | Tracklist

Review Summary: An underappreciated gem of turn-of-the-millenium math rock.

I want to pinpoint a dozen or so moments (I'm not going to, but I want to) in The View From This Tower that force me to press pause, go back and relive again. Moments of guitar hero brilliance or fascinating melodic shifts that resonate for far longer than their runtime. But maybe a broader appeal is needed, so here it is: we need to remember the compelling, complex, and fist-pumping rock of Washington, D.C.'s Faraquet.

For a few short years, Faraquet was Devin Ocampo, Chad Molter, and Jeff Boswell, a trio with other tenacious post-punk bands in their near past (Loomis Slovak, Smart Went Crazy) and future (Medications, the EFFECTS, Grass). The 2008 compilation Anthology 1997-98 would cobble together the band's earlier assorted singles of that time, but 2000's The View From This Tower would be Faraquet's solitary complete statement.

Indebted to the technical prowess of King Crimson, Faraquet embrace prog-rock experimentation and allusions to free jazz, but they don't succumb to the excesses of either genre. Instead, The View From This Tower is bound to punk efficiency and satisfying rock melodies that are hard-won in the midst of math rock complication. Perhaps the shortest route to describing Faraquet's sound is their place within the legendary Dischord Records family. Particularly in the vein of Fugazi and Q and Not U, the band captured part of the D.C. post-hardcore sound at the turn-of-the-millenium.

The nervous energy of The View From This Tower is fully encapsulated in its explosive opener "Cut Self Not." From its no-nonsense opening riff to its angular guitar build-up and graceful interludes, the track stops, slows, and sprints in exciting, calculated bursts. As with so much of the album, short gestures in "Cut Self Not" create lasting impressions (I think a lot about 2:44...whoa). The "Fourth Introduction" similarly enthralls, with driving guitar and drums sliding into a stuttered vocal section around which the rest of the band coalesces. A tense dynamic between restraint and propulsion gives the moderate to high-tempo songs a frenetic drama that can change direction on a dime.

Highlight "Study in Complacency" follows half a dozen melodic ideas, threaded together by Ocampo's singing of some cryptic existential crisis. "Song for Friends to Me" is the goofball track on otherwise stern-faced (yet still very fun) album, with audacious horn blasts and a lyrical brashness that evokes pre-Emergency & I Dismemberment Plan. Elsewhere, the album dips toward quieter brooding (as on "Conceptual Separation of Self"), but never leaves the threat of ramping up behind.

Ocampo does an admirable vocal job in grounding the sound and Molter's drumming provides a potent jolt to the album, especially in "The View From This Tower." But on the whole, Faraquet still comes out a guitar band. Piercing riffs and angular guitar heroics are where the fun is. More fun is in the surprisingly diverse instrumental array that glides into the mix, including prominent cello on "Conceptual Separation of Self" and moments of banjo, bongos, and the aforementioned horns elsewhere. I'm sure Faraquet has more to say than that they can seriously rock out, as the album's coded lyrics and song titles suggest some textual depth (Google some of these song titles and you will be suggested to check out scholarly philosophy articles), but its the frenzied sonics that make the impact.

And if it's for their moments of transcendent riffing or compelling energy that Faraquet is remembered, or belatedly discovered, it will be a worthy legacy.



Recent reviews by this author
The Thermals More Parts Per MillionDreamies Auralgraphic Entertainment
Real Estate In MindVisible Cloaks Reassemblage
Kacey Musgraves Same Trailer Different ParkKraus End Tomorrow
user ratings (157)
Chart.
4
excellent


Comments:Add a Comment 
clavier
Staff Reviewer
September 6th 2018


880 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

damn this finally got a review, nicely written

Digging: Skaphe and Wormlust - Kosmískur Hryllingur

ramon.
Contributing Reviewer
September 6th 2018


3063 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

down with the tap up with the riff

i wish all math sounded like this band

Winesburgohio
Staff Reviewer
September 6th 2018


2540 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

hell yes @ the quality of this review and album

Digging: Burial - Claustro/State Forest

Tyler.
September 7th 2018


17028 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

omg!!!!!!!!!

suppatime
September 7th 2018


1439 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

great review, this album is fucking sick

Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
September 7th 2018


24758 Comments


Yeah gj reviewing this it needed one

Pheromone
October 19th 2018


7035 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this is gr8 sup3r s1uff

Digging: Yanka Dyagileva - ???????!

hal1ax
January 26th 2019


13831 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this is fckin awesome

Muhlysa
January 26th 2019


163 Comments


Hell fucking yeah. Intro to Sea Song still gives me chills

Drifter
March 3rd 2019


15691 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Sea Song is so good

Observer
Staff Reviewer
March 13th 2019


6824 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

really great sound

Pheromone
March 14th 2019


7035 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeah for sure, the first 6 songs are crazy good

Drifter
March 14th 2019


15691 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Really wish the singer sang more cus his voice is awesome



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2017 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy