Fall From Grace aren’t the band you’d expect to come from the angst ridden birthplace of grunge known as Seattle. Given the things the band has been through, they easily could have fell into that mold, but aside from some heavy guitars, there isn’t a whole lot that puts them anywhere even close to the Seattle stereotype. Their 3rd full length release The Romance Years is proof that high energy power rock is alive and well, even in a place known for a sound based on being its anti-
Much of what makes this album reminiscent of the 80’s are the backing vocals that are layered into the choruses. Almost every song on The Romance Years includes them in some form or another. It’s often difficult for many bands to find one good singer to front their band let alone find the three that Fall From Grace have charged with the lead and backing vocal tasks. As good as the instrument work is on their songs (and it is good), many of these tracks wouldn’t have felt as complete without this unique element. Having the talent and being able to use it to sustain these backing vocals adds a dynamic that few bands can achieve. “So Long For Now” is a perfect example of using this to their strength. It would have been a good song had it featured only lead vocals and the kick ass guitar solo in the middle, but the layers of vocals in the back ground push the song over the top..
The title track starts out like you’re going head on into a ballad, but it quickly ramps up into a very familiar revved up sound, it is a bit of a tease. The Romance Years is almost entirely speed filled thanks to Jesse Smith’s impressive drum work, Justin McDonald's great bass lines, and a plethora of face melting guitars, but Fall From Grace does slow down the show for one track on “Great Expectations”. “You wanted everything, but all I do is drown inside your sound.” cries lead singer Tryg Littlefield. Given the nature of the rest of the album, the acoustic track catches you a bit by surprise, but it’s a great indicator that FFG is more than a one trick pony.
I’d be entirely remiss if I didn’t mention how spectacular the guitar work is on this album. Just about every track has a nice solo, some longer than others, all exceptional. “Maybe I’m Outta My Head” is the pinnacle of the guitar tracks on The Romance Years. It finds its way through several different tones and iterations throughout the song with each sonic change building off the others. Brian Olson and Ty McDonald craftily work in everything from some light picking, to heavy rhythmic riffs, and of course a monster solo. All before slowly creeping away to the exit in a much more stoic, tempered tone. “Maybe I’m Outta My Head” is handily the best guitar track I’ve heard to date this year simply based off its well applied strumming diversity.
Fall From Grace just hit the road on a national tour with Saving Abel. The catchy, energy filled rock they captured on The Romance Years will undoubtedly win over some new fans as they make their way across the country. They certainly have some new fans at Rocksposure.
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As the Webmaster and Founder of Rocksposure.com, Chris Brach is always looking for new music from up and coming rock bands. You never know, they could be our next Artist of the Month! If there is something you think he should give a listen to, email him at GetRocked@Rocksposure.com