Reviews Search

Fontanelle, "F"

After last year's stunning self-titled debut, Fontanelle return in 2001with this EP of songs they've recorded over the last three years. Aninteresting line-up featuring three keyboards, two guitarists and twodrummers, Fontanelle create soundscapes that never annoy and alwayschallenge the listener. The mixture of live drums with electronicinstruments is not new sonic territory, but listen to the samples andyou'll see that Fontanelle does it like no other band. Sounds arewarped, wah-wahed out, meticulously planned and timed, and ingeniouslyexecuted. Or are they? On this release, we're told that this timeFontanelle is showing off their more improvisational side. The resultsare similar to the songs on the first release, as the music was createdat the same time as the debut, for all intents and purposes. However,the debut seems more spacey in nature next to these songs, with thekeyboards being reduced to background orchestral fodder on some tracks.On "F," they're more in the foreground on every song, making theireerie impression felt. The songs are also shorter than those on thedebut, which helps, as they do not grow as monotonous as some on thedebut got after two or three listens. "F" stands up well even afterfive or six, and it leaves you wanting more. If this is truly animprovisation-based release, it bodes well for the next Fontanellefull-length. The band seems to be finding that happy medium between thekeyboards and guitars on "F," and as a listener, you feel this releasesucceeding in ways "Fontanelle" didn't, particularly where the linesbetween the two blur. Stronger melodies emerge, too, making this andexcellent release well worth listening to, for where Fontanelle are,and where you know they're going.