The overall impression that the latest release from artistic collaboration Fallow Land will garner is one of disappointment. In a similar vein to the scream-drenched emo genre that dominated the 2000s, the artistic duo, comprised of Whitaker Fineberg and Evan Veasey, attempt to experiment with rock by merely injecting the occasional post-track tangent throughout the album.
The short blasts of half-time shuffle, the Chris Squire-esque bass solos and finger-tapping outro are all executed perfectly and avoid seeming forced or unwelcome. But some traditions die harder than others, and the stale stench of emo vocals are applied all too liberally throughout each track.
In spite of their generous use of worn-out screamo tropes, the future of this artistic collaboration is far from bleak. It would be far from outrageous optimism to expect a budding romantic songwriter or an acute social observer to re-emerge on the music scene with later full-length releases.
Duos, collaborations and band that exhibit their plethora of musical talents through lacing their work with complex arrangements are entertaining in the short term. What sets collaborative musical groups aside, however, is the ability to fully engage with their audience. Fallow Land show promise as songwriters, but they appear stuck in a sonic cul-de-sac. Take Biffy Clyro: their songwriting skills were initially obvious – but it wasn’t until after their third album, Infinity Land, that they truly progressed as artists by venturing towards the more romantic, poppier side of the music industry.
The track ‘Faux’ epitomises the potential of Fallow Land’s duo as songwriters. Like many of their contemporaries, the pair exhibits a desire for songwriter subterfuge. Sadly, however, this attempt to master lyricism – by no means an easy feat – has not been achieved. Nonetheless, the duo has created some credible pieces. They don’t appear hell bent on critical acclaim as DIIV. And neither are they in Mac Demarco’s league – whose genuinely affecting, wonky love songs might just be the current gold-standard for aspiring rock romantics. Their EP lacks heart, but holds promise. For what it lacks in substance, it delivers in intrigue. Who knows what their next adventure will sound like?