Falling Andes – Frantic EP Review

Falling Andes capitalizes on their early single's success.
Self-Released, 2014
Purchase: Bandcamp

8.1 / 10

What started with the catchy song “San Francisco” has turned into a 5 track EP Frantic for Pittsburgh band Falling Andes. Falling Andes is the project of multi-instrumentalists Dan Peluso (vocals, guitar, synthesizer) and Jordan Wood (vocals, guitar, bass, keyboards). Recently the duo picked up new members, drummer Peter-Michel Natishan and guitarist Mike Boyer. With the release of Frantic, the group seems poised for the success of such electro-pop acts like Foster The People and Passion Pit.

Electro-pop has become the new buzz-trend in mainstream alternative music. While combining synthesizers with guitars and percussion is nothing new, it differs from 80s alternative new wave, losing the artsy and goth tendencies of many groups from that era. Instead, the bands are made up of younger artists with clean-cut images and no eyeliner. The songs are undoubtedly catchy, almost to an annoying level. I’ve caught myself singing many of the tunes aloud as if it they were burned into my mind subliminally. Mainstream labels love these bands because they’re radio friendly and appeal to a younger audience. Look no further than the success of Foster The People.

Falling Andes have not signed to a major label yet; though, it doesn’t seem far behind. Their debut EP consists of appetizing, dance-ready tracks that instantly hook you. The music behind the tracks are so catchy that it’s easy to pass over meanings behind the songs. “San Francisco”, the group’s runaway hit, deals with the earthquake that devastated the city and the state of California in 1906. Pretty heavy material for teen audiences, but Dan Peluso’s chorus, San Francisco, I remember! is distractingly anthemic.

As a singer, Peluso controls excellent range over his voice, and it bears a striking resemblance to singer James Blunt. On “Start Again” he changes it up alternating between his smooth falsetto and a more husky register that blends together in a nice crescendo at the song’s end. Besides Peluso’s golden pipes, the group’s other asset may be their control of impeccable structure in their songs. Frantic‘s five songs are all well-crafted insta-pop hits, which is amazing for a young band starting out. “I Don’t Love You” seems destined as radio gold with a go-to chorus begging for audiences to sing along with, I don’t love you, anymore / I don’t love you, same old story / I don’t love you, won’t you give me away?.

Avoiding the bravado showcased by many of their peers, Falling Andes’ debut is a statement of honest, well-intentioned song craft. Much like other groups dabbling in the indie-pop / electro-pop stratosphere, the songs’ themes aren’t the most original, but they’re sharp, well written, and catchy as hell. I especially appreciate “San Francisco” breaking away from the norm and tying to a historical event that many younger listeners likely won’t catch. I’m hoping that Falling Andes continue straying from what’s considered ordinary in their future releases.

About NK

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