The Falcon need no introduction. Well, they shouldn’t anyway. After reforming the group in 2014 to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Red Scare Industries (a label that was started, it should be noted, because someone needed to put out The Falcon’s first EP, God Don’t Make No Trash or Up Your Ass with Broken Glass), they headed into the studio to record their second LP, Gather Up the Chaps. Considering that the band has been mostly dormant for the better part of the last decade, it should come as a relief to everyone that the album is just as snotty as Unicornography. There are some slower moments, but overall this is the same Falcon that you fell in love with, and hid from your parents, ten years ago.
Brendan Kelly takes on the role as chief songwriter once again, so it’s no surprise that the album mostly contains his signature rasp and lyrics covering everything between drugs and masturbation. It’s an album that needs repeated listens to really take it all in, but once you understand everything that’s going on you might wish that you hadn’t. Much like Kelly’s previous album by an avian-themed band, I’d Rather Die Than Live Forever, there are plenty of songs here that will make you need to take a shower.
Unlike the band’s previous output, however, Gather Up the Chaps also sees songwriting and vocal contributions from Dan Andriano and newcomer Dave Hause. It’s odd at first, hearing these three distinct songwriters meshing together (it shouldn’t be since these guys have been playing together for years), but it only adds to the album’s range: “If Dave Did It,” Hause’s song, is the most aggressive thing he’s recorded since “Spy Diddley” off The Loved One’s Distractions, while Andriano’s “You Dumb Dildos” (great song title, right?) starts off sounding like it could have been a b-side to Agony and Irony before launching into a cacophony of all three vocalists singing and shouting over each other.
For all of the comfortability between the band members, or perhaps because of that comfortability, there’s a very lax approach to the record. Not in terms of musicianship or composition, of course, but there are moments that might seem out of place. It’s not exactly sloppy- but it’s not something you’d hear if the album had been put out by any of the members’ main projects. During “Sergio’s Here” you can hear Dan Andriano let out a chuckle at one point, while Brendan Kelly clears his throat before beginning a verse in “The Skeleton Dance.” Hell during the first verse of “If Dave Did It,” Hause is constantly being talked over. It’s during these moments that you can hear that this project, as dark and fucked up as it appears, is also light-hearted and not entirely meant to be taken seriously.
Ten years is a long time to wait for a 26 minute album. But it was worth every moment. Get your friends together and put on your raptor gloves. The Falcon is landing.
4.5 / 5
RIYL: American Steel, Dead to Me, None More Black