Fencing David


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Lana, the debut album by New England's Fencing David, isn't a gem, but it's a likable, if uneven, collection of melodic alternative rock that draws on influences ranging from Pearl Jam to Living Colour to Ben Folds Five. The writing is decent, and it's clear that Fencing David -- despite its imperfections -- was a band of substance. "Hollywood" has a few laughs at the expense of the entertainment industry, while "Robots" questions the practices of organized religion. The song isn't necessarily anti-religion, but it definitely questions conformity and encourages listeners to think for themselves instead of relying on an organization to show them the way. And the band is equally substantial on introspective offerings like "Cereal," "Written," and "Miss Porter." At the end of the CD, Fencing David throws listeners a curve ball by providing an irreverent rap number that doesn't have a title and is completely different from Lana's eight other tracks. The tune isn't rap-metal or rap-rock -- rather, Arsenault flows like a real hip-hopper while he raps to an electronic track and rails against everyone from drug users to suburban white kids who try to act like gangsta rappers. Not a mind-blowing debut but certainly a good one, Lana demonstrated that the alternative rockers (and occasional hip-hoppers) had potential. But because Fencing David officially broke up in April 2000, Lana is the only recorded documentation of the band.