Music

Favez: Gentlemen Start Your Engines

Eden Miller

Favez

Gentlemen Start Your Engines

Label: Doghouse
US Release Date: 2000-09-12
Amazon
iTunes

Favez is nothing revolutionary. They play straightforward, honest alternative rock, and that's it. They don't experiment with sound or deviate from the standard modern rock format. But this is, for the most part, perfectly fine because on Gentlemen Start Your Engines, Favez is good enough to be enjoyable. Even though it'd be easy to accuse them of contributing to the monotony of modern rock, Favez is still engaging and fun, and no fault can be found with that.

Using hypnotic guitars and pounding drums, Favez does bring new insight to the tradition of guitar-based rock, while still approaching their songs from a typical perspective. The effect is a sound that is intriguing while remaining highly familiar. Favez isn't breaking any new ground, but they don't need to. They are entertaining regardless.

Lead singer Chris Wicky carries Favez. His passionate voice switches between soulful and haunted, expressing a range of emotions comfortably. While Favez's instrumentation makes you want to believe in them as a band, Wicky's sincerity lets you do so without shame. He is able to punctuate all the right moments without ever making it seem overdone. Wicky's voice makes Favez more exciting than they would be otherwise.

Favez's one weakness comes in their lyrics. While not necessarily falling into rock cliches, they possess an ambiguousness that can't be mistaken for being perceptive. They are obviously personal, but the situations don't always translate to the listeners. "I am never uninvited, I go where I want," Wicky sings on "Traveling Is Easy" but it's hard to tell, even in the context of the song what he's referring to here. Even in the ominous "The Grey Room," the situation in question is only alluded to with lines like "Don't forget you wear my name" and "She didn't leave me when I was rich," but unfortunately, never actually explained.

Gentlemen Start Your Engines is not a masterpiece of music, but it doesn't need to be. It is not fresh or fascinating, but it's not devoid of elements that make it compelling. Favez has a good deal of talent to share, and even if they are mostly covering what's already been done before, there's nothing wrong with that.

Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2018 Popmatters.com. All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.