Fools For April EP

Fools For April

Independent release, 2007

REVIEW BY: Jason Warburg


The Stack -- as my personal to-be-reviewed pile o’ discs has come to be known Chez Warburg -- has grown to truly terrifying proportions.  When it gets to where you can lose a 16-pound cat behind the pile of unlistened-to material on your desk, it’s time for drastic measures.

This usually means a brutal culling session, as in “Nope. Nope. Send it to another writer. Nope. Nope. Don’t hear it. Oh fine, it stays.”  The aforementioned monologue taking maybe fifteen minutes -- i.e. no more than 90 seconds per artist.  (Hey, I said it was brutal.)

That’s what it usually means.

But leave it to a duo called Fools For April to make a fool of me, because it’s now been half an hour since my culling session began and I haven’t gotten past the first disc yet.  To make this all even more improbable, those wily Fools sent me a custom compilation disc that isn’t even any sort of official release, though since it includes three of the four songs on the EP available on my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 their Web site, I’m going to approach this as a review of that release plus bonus tracks.

Fools For April is a collaboration between vocalist-guitarist Dov Rosenblatt (Blue Fringe) and guitarist-vocalist C Lanzbom (Soul Farm) that finds the pair harmonizing beautifully over a series of sweet grooves and lilting solos.  It’s literate folk-pop that gets your feet tapping, classicist in composition but modern in every other way, sort of like Matt Nathanson if he was a scruffier and more endearing set of twins.

The disc I have opens with “Fallin At Your Feet,” which starts out in a sort of sleepy acoustic Jack Johnson groove before building into a mid-tempo jangler that actually absorbs a touch of funk into the beat.  Lanzbom’s electric guitar accents counterpoint Rosenblatt’s earnest vocals beautifully, creating an instantly compelling harmonic convergence.

EP cut “Long Division” adds some bluesy Harrison/Clapton electric licks to the package before the Harrison theme becomes even more explicit in the near-homage track “Run Run Run.”  This terrific number sounds like nothing so much as a lost Harrison-Crosby collaboration, all rolling melody and sweet high harmonies.

“All Or Nothing” has a sort of airy alt-rock feel in its opening bars, but then the acoustic rhythm guitar kicks in and you’re riding a wave of folk-pop melody.  Another EP cut, “Better Place,” has a sort of gloomy early-Dylan feel at first, then blossoms into a steady-on folk-rocker with organ and female background vocals filling out the sound.

“First Time Again,” which closes both the group’s official EP and my custom version, is a completely acoustic ballad that spotlights the way the duo’s voices and guitars mesh -- smooth like buttah.

“Parallel Love,” the one song on the EP that didn’t appear on my custom compilation, has somewhat of a Jimmy Eat World ballad vibe, slow and earnest with sunny harmonies, organ accents and big cymbals.  Definitely worthy of inclusion when the boys issue a full-length, which their one-sheet declares is due in Fall 2008.

The Stack still awaits.  But now I’ve been reminded of the reason it’s always worth slogging through: new music to enjoy and a new group to watch.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2007 Jason Warburg and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Independent release, and is used for informational purposes only.