Fono

Goesaroundcomesaround

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    6
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AllMusic Review by

Like Bush before them, Fono betray very little of their British roots in their music. On this, their debut album, they pull most of their sonic influences from American post-punk alt-rock bands, including pop-chart mega successes like the Foo Fighters and Goo Goo Dolls, former pop/rock stalwarts such as the Posies and Gin Blossoms, and Big Deal bands like Cockeyed Ghost and Sweden's the Merrymakers. But whereas Bush satisfy themselves by mimicking the most apparent elements of the Pixies and Nirvana -- the attitude and angst-filled affectations, but not the depth, lyrical intelligence, or humor -- Fono mostly appropriate only the melodic knack and sharp, clean surface sheen of their American counterparts and influences. The music is derivative, to be sure, but it is also refreshingly pretension-free and immediate, at least in relation to Bush and most Britpop flavors of the month. The trio construct an aggressive wall of sound, filling in the few spaces left in their music with spacy, ambient squiggles. The approach shows that the band can be contemporary without resorting to trend-hopping (though the metal-hop breakdown on "Collide" is a bit too close to Korn for comfort). Besides the apparent influences, Fono also throw in some inspired bits from the pop/rock past. On one hand, the band are fond of the giddy aggressiveness and harmonies of mod-pop, and this helps them keep at least one toe in the British rock waters. But on the other hand, '80s heavy metal elements also occasionally creep into the music -- with entirely positive results. The hook of "Collide" could easily have come out of the mouth of Alice Cooper, while the verses of "Round and Round" are lovingly borrowed from Lita Ford's "Kiss Me Deadly." There are dramatic hooks and melodies galore on Goesaroundcomesaround, all executed with breathy, anguished, angst-filled vocals that only occasionally verge on affected. Still, this music is meant to come across as epic and stirring, and it frequently is. When the brash hook of the album's best song, "Under My Skin," kicks in, all in the world seems copacetic.

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