Gonzo Weekly Reviews

We put some feelers out there and found some willing ears, and thus reviews, at Gonzo,  a weekly online webzine out of North Devon in the UK. These faunch reviews appear in the August 4th, 2017 issue: Gonzo Weekly #246.  

 

The word 'review' is pluralized because kiwi pākehā nee ex-pat English columnist Kev Rowland reviewed both faunch records—dive as well as venice & beethoven.  Nice!  Great reviews, too...

Online Reviews Here by Kev Rowland, August 2017, quoted below, and on the next page...

"To my ears this is a wonderfully strange yet compelling bringing together of two iconic bands, fittingly one from each side of the Atlantic, as XTC vie with Talking Heads for dominance."

FULL REVIEW:

 

FAUNCH

DIVE

INDEPENDENT

The story of this 1999 album goes back more than twenty years [earlier], to when guitarist Michael McClure left USCD to study theatre in the UK. He wanted to be near Stratford, so attended Warwick University where he met Andy Faunch in late 1978. Along with drummer Dave Blackburn they formed a band, called Tiny Lites (after the Zappa song “City of Tiny Lites”) and after Michael returned to the States he convinced the others to move to California in 1980 “to get the band back together”. They had various musical adventures, including working as And And And in the Eighties, but ‘Dive’ is credited to faunch (all lower case), and all three are heavily involved. Dave provides drums, percussion, djembe, Michael electric guitar, backing vocals, keyboards and programming while Andy is on vocals, bass, acoustic and electric guitars and programming.

To my ears this is a wonderfully strange yet compelling bringing together of two iconic bands, fittingly one from each side of the Atlantic, as XTC vie with Talking Heads for dominance. It is poppy, it is rocky, it is bright and cheerful, and has plenty of dynamics. It was self-produced (and then mixed and mastered by Dave), yet everything is crystal clear and it certainly doesn’t seem like a low budget production. There is a great deal going on, yet it is always infectious, and there are some wonderful bass lines which show how important that attack can be, as well as the actual playing of the notes. Is there some Hall & Oates type funk in there? Possibly, but there are also some elements of Robyn Hitchcock, and even some vocal tinges of Roy Harper.

 

It is somehow electronic, poppy, rocky and emotive all at the same time. It was probably dated when it was released, but now it feels timeless, and is a joy from start to finish. It isn’t the type of music I normally listen to, but I have thoroughly enjoyed this. For more details visit www.faunchmusic.com

© 1958-2020 Andy Faunch