Monday, May 20, 2019

Cromm Fallon - Electric Bloom

Cromm Fallon has been a fixture of the Las Vegas scene for almost as long as I can remember and well before he could legally hang out in a bar, fronting and/or playing guitar in mod/garage combos such as Acton Town, the Astaires, the Van der Rohe and numerous others. On this disc, released by Rum Bar Records, he presents his solo vision, playing almost all of the instruments - drums are by musician-about-town Aaron Archer and there are a couple of friends providing a little extra coloring - and performing all vocals (except for one guest spot), as well as penning all of the tunes.

Although primarily garage-based rock'n'roll, Fallon freely admits to plenty of other influences, from jangle-pop to shoe-gaze to psychedelic and more. There's plenty of over-driven guitars, but also some sweet 12-strings ringing out, along with a bit of moody organ, a ballad or two and lots of stompin' rockers.

The record opens with the 12 string folk/garage/pop "Second Bloom", that has more bite than most 12-string numbers, while still retaining Byrds-ian melodies. "East Bay" is a damn catchy, hip, garage-riff-stomper which moves into more mid-tempo folk/garage/psych in "Scars From You" followed by a moody, organ-fueled psychedelic trip into insomnia with "No Sleep" that is highlighted by a vicious guitar break. Cromm creates a straight-ahead garage-crunch-rocker with start-n-stop power chords and a wild, rave-up ending on "Out of Control" and then "The Next One" is kind of a 70's punk meets garage duet with Darenda Weaver that is Wire-like brief'n'to-the-point.

"Electric Change" is a fuzz-sludge-pounder with plenty of psych overtones, most obviously in the trippy, Pink Floyd-ish, organ-led middle breakdown, "Circles" has a nice melodic lick and a kinda circular chord progression that builds upon itself with hip coloring throughout, "Death Room" is a bit of a shoe-gaze-y ballad and then everything concludes with a cool, Electric Prunes-meets-Velvet-Underground-meets-Post-Punk number called "Hired Suicide" with buzzing lead guitar, haunting organ, a driving beat and a rockin' instrumental build up..

This is a damn strong debut and although there are a variety of influences showcased, they are all contained within a cohesive vision. Cromm has a fine, fairly unique voice, although it can be a bit monotone-ish, he still manages to imbue melodies into the tunes and does some good work with harmonies and call'n'answer vocals and the songwriting and playing is solid throughout. This record is getting a lot of attention already and I'm looking forward to seeing how it will all work on a live stage with Cromm's new backing band, the P200.