Found Audio – Chalk

January 01, 1970

(Self-released)

 

www.foundaudio.com

 

Boston has long been the
communal grounds for various acts throughout the years. Bands such as Aerosmith
and The Lemonheads left imprints of their musical footsteps throughout the city
before walking on to national fame. In Boston’s
neighborhood of Allston, four musicians by the name of Found Audio attempt to
leave their own mark on the music scene with the LP Chalk. Unfortunately
in the alt-country debut, the band seems to have trouble in developing a
signature sound that reflects the music in which they are trying to create, and
one that actually works.

 

Perhaps
Found Audio’s troubles begin while attempting to blend clashing genres and
musical influences such as Radiohead, Nick Drake, The Meat Puppets, and Fiona
Apple to create what their bio states “impossible reach with actual sound.” The
result is a musical clusterfuck – a mess of choppy instrumentals that sound
disorganized to the ear and often times out of place. In songs such as “Walker, Riddley” and
“House Rage Nights,” jerky guitar chords and basic percussion beats make for
tracks that are less bounce and more bore.

 

Many
of the songs on the LP sound the same, with little variation in vocal or
instrumental tone. By gorging every track with an abundance of instrumentals,
each song leaves the listener wondering whether “less is more.” Such a mindset
may have helped the band create an album that progresses more smoothly and
blends within itself without sounding awkward. While the song writing itself is
poignant and poetic (with each member penning various tracks), the emotion
behind each song is lost by co-singer John Bragg’s monotone vocals, which often
fall flat and lack emotion.

 

Aside
from the band’s musical complications, there also seems to be technical bugs
within the album regarding production and mixing, such as in the case of the
song “Queen of the Road.” A muted, simple banjo riff begins the track when
suddenly – and without any type of progression – the volume increases. Whether
done intentionally or not, it almost sounds as if someone turned up the mic
five seconds into the song, causing “Queen of the Road” to fail before it ever
really begins.

 

Despite
the album’s prevalent issues, there are two gems buried within the clutter in “Tennessee” and “All My
Things” – both back-to-back tracks in Chalk. The soft ballad “Tennessee” is touching,
and thankfully not overdone – with chiming guitars and downcast drum beats that
match the song’s tenderness. The purely rock ‘n’ rollish “All My Things” offers
a different side of the band’s musical spectrum when compared to its
predecessor, a refreshing find within the album and a tuneful formula that really
works for the band – and perhaps a formula that should be adhered to for Found
Audio’s next record.

 

DOWNLOAD: “Tennessee,” “All My Things”
CECILIA MARTINEZ

Leave a Reply