Album Review of Falling Doves: Electric Dove
Sporting a sound reminiscent of ’80s/’90s-era Enuff Z’Nuff, with a hint of Mr. Big, maybe, a dash of screeching blues-based rock guitar, and some heavy melodic punk, the Falling Doves deliver a distorted, powerful rock ‘n roll album. Bands the Falling Doves have shared the stage with include Echo & The Bunnymen, Peter Murphy of Bauhaus, Fastball, and Gilby Clarke. Yeah, that sounds about right.
And yet, second song “Hello Stars” sounds like a hard rock song that might be heavily influenced by shoegaze, with a loud, buzzing rock and roll sound field and crunchy guitars driving a well-structured song that keeps acting as if it’s about to meander off, but it doesn’t. It’s a neat trick, and an engaging song. “NYC” is kind of like this, too. And until putting the pieces together while analyzing this album, I never realized that Enuff Z’Nuff actually has a bit of the heavy rock-meets-dream pop vibe in several of its songs. Of course, Enuff Z’Nuff predated shoegaze, so… well, I have to wonder which foundation musician in that musically distant genre was a secret EZ’N fan.
But I digress. Back to Falling Doves, and one step back to the album-opener, “Art of Letting Go”, which is an aggressive, disc-launching melodic hard rocker, with drums, crunchy guitars, distorted guitars, and vocal wails befitting a hard rock band, a catchy song and quick favorite that’ll cause unintentional – though definitely not undesired – headbanging whenever you listen to it.
“Dialing You!” is another straightforward rocking favorite on the disc, with a steady rhythm, vocal snarl, and a couple mean guitar hooks. “Strange Love” stands out for its guitar wails during a couple short bridges and a wall of music backdrop so complete that it almost seems like some static fill had been included specifically to ensure there are no gaps.
“December Took You Away” is a driving straightforward rocker with the vocals and guitar adding just a hint of side-to-side rhythm. There’s perhaps a smidgeon of Green Day-like defiance mixed in, with a classic guitar run in the middle of the song playing a major role in redirecting it forward – it’s subtle but very cool once you notice it.
“Something About Her Ways” – particularly the opening stanza – exhibits the strongest old-school alt-hard-rock influence on the disc, adding the sort of small variances of ingredients from song to song necessary to provide an enjoyable full-album listening experience.
After “NYC,” mentioned earlier, distorted, disjointedly rhythmic rocker “Changes,” old school alt-pop rock-seasoned “Tomorrow Night” (depending on my mood, I alternately hear hints of Human League and Blondie when I listen), and the raucously, punkishly hard rocker “Don’t Have the Time” solidly drive the disc to a close.
In the end, Enuff Z’Nuff fans won’t be able to unhear the stylistic similarities, and I mean that in the most complimentary possible way. For the rest of you, this is a solid hard rock album with catchy rhythms and a hint of the ethereal echoing in the music, particularly in the vocals. Good stuff.
During the pandemic, the Falling Doves have added several releases on Bandcamp, including a couple of “virtual tour” releases and a cool EP of covers, Electrafixation.