Sometimes you can listen to an album a dozen times and not like it. It's only when you see them in concert that something magical clicks and all of a sudden you can't keep the disc out of your player afterwards. Fono joins the likes of Sixpence None the Richer, Bride, and Code of Ethics for this particular reviewer. These Brit-pop/rock band grabbed my attention on the recent Underdog Tour with Audio Adrenaline. Their rocking set captivated with melodic tunes and an energetic performance.
Fono's late 1999 debut release goesaroundcomesaround on KMG Records blends melodic rock with pop/rock flavorings. They kick the album off perfectly with "Collide," a unique song that begins with a pulsing electronic beat and a count down that comes as a surprise when it turns suddenly into a modern rock song. Del Currie's raw vocals may take awhile to adjust to, but they add a passionate feel to the music.
The album progresses well with catchy rock and pop/rock tunes like "Under My Skin," where Del's vocals seem more controlled while remaining raw. "Something Must Be Happening" presents a whole new sound entirely. Currie's voice smooths out and glides through the music into a catchy chorus reminiscent of something you would have heard on the radio a decade years ago, although presented in a relevant way here. "Alcatraz" follows, returning to the feel of the first two songs. Del loosens up again to present a chorus that comes across as particularly monotonous (repeating "I'll bend until you break"), although after hearing it live, takes on a whoe new life. "Pretty You" sort of blends the two moods together with a pop song that offers a distorted chorus inserted and tied in with a harmonious rhythm.
The mood calms by the close of the album with more subdued masterpieces like "Drift Away," where Del's voice tends to have an almost Pete Stewart feel at times, and the near-ballad beauty "Splendid." Fono is a band to keep an eye on. I'm looking forward to what else they have to offer in the future.- Review date: 2/28/00, written by John DiBiase
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