The Disguise is an EP by The False Alarms, a mostly one-man band project full of pop-punk rock n’ roll with some folk and country mixed in occasionally. The songs are promising and performed with a lot of passion.
The title track opens the EP with explosive drumming, chugging guitars and long held out organ notes that float above the melody. The song has lots of energy, emulating The Clash or Blink 182 but with more of a Sea & The Cake vocal inflection. Sometimes the drums and guitars don’t quite line up with some overly ambitious fills, which is a little disconcerting, but the energy is there.
“Heartache Take One” has a Beatles flavor to the vocal melody and a fantastic groove in the chorus. The guitar solo is admirable, switching from a Spanish-infused melody to a bluesy rock n’ roll riff. Again, some of the drumming during the verse gets a little busy detracting from the melody and groove, but it’s quite excellent in the choruses. “We Laughed” is built around layered guitars and rolling toms. There are some interesting changes in feel throughout with the texture opening up and closing in around the groove. Some of the backing vocals in the chorus struggle to find the pitch and don’t add more than they take away.
“The Other Side Of The Tracks” has a strong country influence as seen through the vocal inflections of Trey Anastasio. The drumming here is fantastic, avoiding the cliché brushed snare train beat instead moving around the toms with ease. The layers of guitars are added nicely throughout giving a good build. There are some beautiful organ swells throughout really lifting the song up towards the end.
“Doing Time” is a psycho-billy rave sung by a female vocalist. Her voice is excellent and fits the song quite well though its inclusion on the EP feels a little anomalous, and might fit in better on another collection or project. The EP closes with “Hopscotch,” a fast punk with clever lyrics, powerful dry snare drums and a quick head bopping tempo. It clocks in at just under two minutes and is gone almost as soon as it arrived, truly playing into the old adage of leaving the audience wanting more.
Overall, The False Alarms could benefit from a little editing and cleaning up of tracks, some streamlining and simplifying of parts to really let the songs breathe a bit, but the songwriting is promising and will make for an excellent live performance.
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