Disappear, Falcon’s debut album, opens with the anthemic, mid-tempo “Say Goodbye”, which is underpinned by huge drum sounds and an acoustic guitar strumming simple chords. The second song, “Terrified (Happy Days are Ahead)”, bops gently along as vocalist Neil Rosen yelps the lyrics in falsetto. By the third song, “Stories”, with its background timpani and strong quarter note beat, Falcon’s similarities to Arcade Fire are tough to ignore.
It’s not just that Rosen’s voice closely resembles Win Butler—although that’s a big part of it—it’s that the band has chosen virtually the same style of widescreen, anthemic indie-rock as the Canadian titans. The only appreciable difference is that Falcon replaces Arcade Fire’s expanded instrumentation (violins, French horns, organ) with synths. And the songs aren’t as good. That’s not to say that the band is bad, because it isn’t. Disappear is a perfectly listenable album, but its songs aren’t very memorable. Once my brain made the Arcade Fire connection, though, it was impossible to ignore. It’s tough to be labeled imitators, but Falcon comes off sounding like a facsimile.