Faux Republic

Faux Republic

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AllMusic Review by

It was amusing enough when Pell Mell wrote and recorded entire albums in the '80s (and into the '90s) by sending tapes back and forth between the members in various states. But at least they started as a "real" band, rehearsing and playing together in Portland in that scene's halcyon 1979 days, before scattering. And all they did was instrumentals. The eight members of Faux Republic, on the other hand, have not only never met but know each other solely through exchanged e-mails. They, too, must hotfoot it to the post office with large packages of recording tape in order to collaborate in this side project. (All eight play in major-city bands I've never heard of.) So much for camaraderie; yet if they didn't tell you all this, you would be none the wiser. There is no more indication of such a (if you'll excuse the expression) "Pell Mell" approach at work than most slap-dash indie records these days. In fact, though sketchy, and a little too long, Faux Republic betters many other bands' side projects of underfed demos-in-disguise. Songs such as "Tripper Sink" and "Channeling Bacchus" are imbued with enthusiasm, interesting guitar parts, and melodies and singing that one can support. Most tracks form simply, around an acoustic-pop line, a nimble rhythm section, the occasional sax or Casio organ, a lead electric guitar shading, and confident vocal. But the results have spunk, and a finished feel to them. Maybe more bands should never meet. (2110 S. Halstead, Chicago, IL 60608; bombco@yahoo.com)