The Feni Farm Riot
[Two and a half stars]
Dischordian is Split vocalist Garreth D’Mello’s acoustic alt-rock side project. On this, his debut full-length album D’Mello gives his singer-songwriter side free reign with mixed results. This bunch of what seem to be lo-fi recordings showcase myriad influences, which dangerously possess D’Mello’s character on songs ”“ you will find yourself constantly struggling with this gnawing feeling of having heard this tune, this riff, this rhyme before. The album opens with ”˜One of These Days,’ which sounds like a sprightly rehash of Ray LaMontagne’s ”˜Be Here Now’ and Iron and Wine’s cover of ”˜Such Great Heights’ ”“ maybe even Nick Drake? And D’Mello’s doggerel (“When I can’t take my eyes off you/When the world fades out/Every cell in my body aches with longing for you”) does him no favours either. On the verse on ”˜Same Ol Conversation’ he sounds like Darius Rucker (Hootie and the Blowfish) taking a shot at Matchbox Twenty’s ”˜3 am’. D’Mello catches onto a gravelly rasp on ”˜Right Heel’ and ”˜Bucket of Blood’ ”“ a gruff bluesy Dylan-esque vibe straight out of Woodstock with a Richie Haven like rhythmic charge.
Of the thirteen tracks on theÂ Feni Farm Riot there are a few which show potential and strike an original note.Â ”˜Old Whore’ ”“ a simple rickety strum on the guitar embellished with horn sections ”“ strings some sharp wit on lyricism to a catchy strain. The minimalistic ”˜Don’t Wake Me’ flirts with soft harmonics in a spatial sound cocoon while the clean guitar lines and D’Mello’s mellifluous vox beautifully contour this soundscape. ”˜She Lied to Me’ seems inspired by the songwriting ethic on a ”˜4th Time Around’ (Bob Dylan) or ”˜Norwegian Wood’ (The Beatles). But it’s D’Mello’s klunky lyricism assume that trips the album up: “I asked if it was something I did/was there a problem with me/could it be that I swear too much/or perhaps that we go dutch.”
Key Tracks: ”˜Old Whore’, ”˜Don’t Wake Me’