Falldown isn’t entirely a new thing. These musicians have been playing together off and on for a while, retaining their permanent positions with other full-time bands. The chemistry they’ve created is undeniable after about thirty seconds of listening. They mix different styles together-sometimes jamming bluesy rock and other times leaning more toward folk and country. The singing duties are split three ways, which keeps things interesting for those listening and those behind the mics.
Of the three, I found Pat Lyons the most engaging. Maybe because he sang lead the smallest amount. He has a certain quality to his voice that makes it stand out. It’s like an old soul is living in his body and it just leaps out of his mouth. He’s also a talented guitarist, with an especially high proficiency on the pedal steel. I had forgotten this before seeing Falldown, but he’s featured on Dastardly’s first EP May You Never.
Jared Rabin is the de facto leader of the band, taking center stage and singing the majority of the leads. He also plays a mean fiddle on many of the tunes. He seems pretty comfortable in the middle of things, an important quality in a front man. You can tell he relishes the opportunity to sing in front of a crowd since he doesn’t get the chance with his other band, instrumental rockers The Hue.
Liza Day got her time in the spotlight and made good use of it. She supplies acoustic guitar and tambourine, but also acts as the heart of the band. When she sings there’s a great sense of vulnerability and weariness. She falls somewhere in the spectrum between Emmylou Harris and Joanna Newsom, if you can imagine such a thing. Her stark delivery offers a nice contrast from the other songs played.
The rest of the band is rounded out by keyboardist Brad Mac (formerly of a great blues rock band The Redwalls), bassist Kyle Meyers, drummer Jordan Kozer, and guitarist Micah Walk who was either not present at the show or blended in so well that I didn’t even notice he was there. Together these gentlemen lay down the foundation that allows the other members to shine. Kozer especially impresses with his ability to switch between genres with ease.
I think the best quality Falldown displayed at this record release show was their teamwork. It never felt like one individual performer was more important than anyone else, and with most bands that isn’t the case. These guys share songwriting duties and seem to treat each other as equals. With the potential they have together, it’s hard to imagine that this will be a “side project” much longer.
The EP Falldown celebrated is the just-released six-song self-titled debut from the sextet. It’s available here in their online store. You can check them out on Facebook or hit their main site where you can check out some songs and videos.