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Favourite Sons - Down Beside Your Beauty

Released on Vice Records, 9/12/06

Musical theater! Wow! I imagine Favourite Sons’ live show as being devised from behind a heavy red velvet curtain which, when raised, reveals a somewhat seventies-stylized more rockin’ adaptation of “Hair”. This is a band John Cameron Mitchell would love.

It screams Hedwig – but goes much deeper and darker, cuts through the glam and practically into the flesh, bitey and harsh. This is a band built from solitary desperation and media hype, and their first release, Down Beside Your Beauty, is an honorable attempt to live up to everything the press is spreading and the fans are expecting.

“Loneliness is beautiful, strange and free,” bellows singer Ken Griffith in his signature deep rumble. This appears to be a theme of sorts for Down Beside Your Beauty. “Love doesn’t want me, love doesn’t need me around”, he sings in the very next song “Walking Here” -- sad isn’t it? Maybe a little too sad?

It is true that the lyrical content can get a little heavy-handed, the vocal-stylings a little too, well, dramatic. Sometimes it’s the traits that carry us that become the traits that kill us. Which is not to say that Favourite Sons are dead, far from it. They do what they do well: handclaps, curtains, bells, whistles, choreographed dance routines, sequined monotards, and all. They are simply and severely stylized, which is far from the worst thing in the music world. If you dig on T-Rex, early Stooges, and a little drama in your morning rock, then Favourite Sons are the band for you.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars