They might be a Seattle trio, but Biography of Ferns could have come from the same garage that the Strokes emerged from in the Big Apple. Need proof? Well, take a gander, er, listen to the charming “The Charmer” which bursts out big initially before finding it framework roughly a minute in. And while they rhyme off everyone from the Kinks and Sonic Youth to New Order and the Who as influences, they are definitely few of those on the very crisp “John the Barber” which has a certain cutting, angular quality about it. Gang of Four can be discerned on the retro-rock of “Control Getsum”, but Biography of Ferns hit a creative puddle when they attempt the odd and unimpressive “Accidental Town” which is a bit of an accident in itself. It seems like an aberration thankfully once the band nails “Build You Down” which comes off like a b-side by the Killers and “False Candle”, a song that is a distant cousin to Crowded House’s “Locked Out”. One gets the impression that the band wants you to try to pigeonhole them but then throw out another side of the band as is the case with “Visual Vagrant”, a seedy kind of rock number that never really comes to the fore but just brims under the surface.
// Notes from the Road
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