Faceless Orphans’ punk-meets-indie-rock explosion presents an album loaded with energy and grit, as well as a surprisingly satisfying and heartfelt array of songwriting. It’s often only one or the other with alternative rock music – the angst and the weight, with the occasional anthem, or those who know how to write songs but don’t always bring the right level of musicianship. In this case, you get a more than decent balance of both, and it works really well.
Sorry kicks things off, a classic punk rock leading voice emerges, a fairly raw or spacious soundscape – illuminated by a few specific yet distorted or chaotic elements that work hard to create a thread of character. It’s effective, a strong way to start, and things continue to grow from here on in. Sacred Song adds even more space to its opening moments, later evolving into something heavier, later changing again into something slightly country and Western inspired. There are riffs to the moon and back on this project, and the story-telling is genuinely incomparable right now. Each song is structured in a creative and quite powerful way, so the lyrics, the instrumentation, and the hooks, hit with great impact.
Child Wolf lays out a thoughtful, delicate yet passionate ambiance – beautiful riffs set things off in a hypnotic way, then more of the same level of poetry and character comes pouring through as the song progresses. This one has a huge hook, simple yet immediately effective and memorable. I Guess takes the atmospheric delicacy and reflective writing even further, creating around you a beautiful arena of audio – a lightly reverb-soaked guitar riff leads the way. The leading voice here is notably gentle and melodic, reminiscent in some ways of the verse sections of many a Linkin Park song. This is the first time that comparison comes to mind, though the more you listen to this project, the more these snippets of influence present themselves. It’s an eclectic collection, ranging from country rock and roll to the much heavier, perhaps Audioslave-inspired side of the musical spectrum. I Guess is a fantastic song, the contrast between sections makes for a striking few minutes.
Falling Down The Grave brings the energy back up, manic guitars intertwine with equally vibrant drums, followed soon-after by a distinctly creative composition with a simplistic set of lyrics that linger brightly in your mind. Then things take a turn for the softly acoustic, the raw, pure, and deeply human. Tears Of Glue offers up something of a vulnerable performance, beginning with simply a guitar and that all-familiar voice. Moving forwards, the song erupts into an indie-pop anthem of sorts – a huge hook follows an emotional set-up, which is then followed by a high energy, punk-pop-style guitar riff, all of which satisfies.
The creativity and rhythm of rock remains prevalent for Swallowed Hole, a simple, electric guitar set-up accompanies the story-telling here pretty perfectly. The words are where the concept and the mood lies, and the music backs this up in a relevant way – leaving plenty of room for understanding, but also carrying the sentiment confidently and stylishly. Legion Of Battle Plan seems to take the quick pace of distorted rock and fuse it with the quiet and reflective purity of folk music. The track is all at once heavy and gentle, an unusual trait that appears on numerous occasions throughout this album.
The instrumental beauty of this project shines brightly again with the somewhat epic colour and detail that introduces Silently In Silence. The ideas behind the writing start to connect a little more with each song that passes, so the style of expression becomes familiar, more personal, more honest seeming. There’s a definite truthfulness to it all that works well among the intensity of the music. The leading vocal performances are also consistently passionate, representing each concept with power and authenticity.
So Much Real brings the album to a close. Gentler guitar-led songs always hold fast to an audience’s attention when placed among a collection of otherwise fairly heavy or fast-paced performances. This song is the perfect example. The ideas captivate because the soundscape is so beautiful, and because of everything before that led up to this moment. The song is deeply reflective, peaceful, inspiring, and quite addictive. You could easily listen over and over, each time appreciating something new. A touch of Pantera emerged here for me, a welcomed moment. This is a great way to finish the collection. Faceless Orphans have an unparalleled sound right now, and they write and craft their songs with unlimited levels of heart and passion.