Strange indie-rock magnificence that creates its own bizarre world.
FEiN are no ordinary duo. They’ve delivered cutting social commentary to infectious tunes, dropped a taster EP that left us salivating and now, months later, they’ve followed it all up with a debut album that takes things down a completely different and unexpected path.
If the band proved anything in the past, it’s that they have a knack for knocking out successive hits with a bizarre twist and intense instrumentation that accelerates on a forward trajectory. So it makes sense that the duo use much of their album as an opportunity to divert attention away from this ability, right?
Little Homes begins with the valiant musical powerhouse we’ve come to expect. American Man chugs along, embodying the spirit of later years Green Day (without the try-hard cringiness – personal opinion) in a more indie-rock context while delivering a string of socially spiting criticism. This then dissolves into the succession of songs we’ve come to know and love from the taster EP, before the hypnotic grooves of Goodness Gracious and the abstract funk-meets-rock experimentalism of Creatures.
That is the moment things change. In this world of gloriously different music FEiN have been carving and creating over the last six months or so, much of it has been pop-leaning and radio-ready to drum up momentum for this release. It isn’t until now that the band are able to finally ease up and let their creativity out in ways that aren’t necessarily pop-friendly. Whether it’s an intense guitar solo (Twenty-Three and Blanket) or a transcendental and beautiful symphony of climbing string melodies (Don’t You), FEiN give the impression that they are finally indulging themselves the way they really want to.
FEiN have never seemed satisfied to follow the beaten path of indie-pop, despite consistently showing a flair for it. They are a duo set in their own ways and determined to make indie-rock that flirts with pop but carves its own experimental path across its own unusual music world. While it isn’t necessarily true that every track on Little Homes is killer, absolutely none of it is filler.