Paris Falls, “Big Surprise” / “It’s A Charade”

While I’m pretty sure that’s not what it’s talking about, the A-side of the new 7-inch single from retro-rockers Paris Falls, “Big Surprise,” actually does find itself a little ways off from what I’ve come to think of as the band’s main musical neighborhood. There’s less of an overt psych-rock feel here, less of the Pink Floyd influence they flew proudly on Volume III, their last full-length, and in its place there’s more of a straight-ahead glam-pop sound.

The track bumps and stomps along, a bitter, half-snarled chunk of retro-sounding pop that’s far more David Bowie than Roger Waters. Guitarist Jen Brown plays it cool ’til about a third of the way through and then sends some nicely “Suffragette City”-like guitar lines spiraling through frontman Ray Brown’s layers of warm, fuzzy-sounding electric piano(?). The nearly-twinned guitars bring to mind vintage British power-pop, too, although the Paris Falls gang are far too soul-esque to head down that road.

B-side “It’s A Charade” does something similar, although it goes off in a different way entirely, riding a jangly, rustic-sounding groove that’s so ’60s folk-pop that I keep expecting Brown to start singing about how there ain’t no one for to give him no pain. In fact, I was thrown off by the vocals right at the start — they sound so different from the Paris Falls vocal sound I’ve heard ’til now that I honestly thought it might be drummer Mike DeLeon doing the singing this time around.

But hey, I’ve got no complaints, in the end. “It’s A Charade” isn’t my favorite Paris Falls track but could still beat down a roomful of similarly-retro rock bands and not break a sweat, while “Big Surprise” makes me hopeful there’ll be more straight-up, Brit-influenced stuff like it on the band’s next full-length. Keep it coming…

(Oh, and yes, the record does glow in the dark. Which is pretty freaking neat, I have to say.)

[Paris Falls is playing 6/19/10 at Walter's on Washington, along with Side Arms, Luke Lukas, & Ensane.]
(Paper Weapons Records -- 3007 Honeysuckle, Rosharon, TX. 77583;; Paris Falls --
BUY ME: Amazon

Review by . Review posted Saturday, June 19th, 2010. Filed under Features, Reviews.

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4 Responses to “Paris Falls, “Big Surprise” / “It’s A Charade””

  1. mr ray on June 26th, 2010 at 9:41 pm

    thanks for the writeup. you see, honest critisism is the best. I thought my vox were a bit gritty on the b side. im easing up a bit on the album version of the song. stay tuned.

  2. Jeremy Hart on June 28th, 2010 at 10:38 am

    Heck, I didn’t even mean to criticize the vocals on the B-side — I *liked* ’em, definitely, but was just a little thrown off because it sounded so different. :)

  3. pink floyd machine on August 25th, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    Pink Floyd is my favourite! Thank you.

  4. SPACE CITY ROCK » Yr. Weekend, Pt. 1: Paris Falls + Grand Child + Anarchitex + Prison Soup + Kris Becker (Reviewed!) + Faster Pussycat + More on July 1st, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    […] a real-live official video for “It’s a Charade,” which I’ll freely admit isn’t my favorite PF track ever, but hell, I’ll gladly take it over a host of other bands. Check it out right […]

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