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Album Review: FAIM - Pretty Well Over The Bay

3 April 2013 | 10:38 pm | Matt Bowen

There is never a dull moment on Pretty Well Over The Bay, a record that succeeds in providing a platform to contain at least one component of the enigma that is FAIM.

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For a long time now, fans of Perth rockers FAIM (formerly The Faim! Project) have been waiting for a release that even attempts to rival their dynamic onstage presence. The debut album for the self-proclaimed theatrical punks, Pretty Well Over The Bay, has come leaps and bounds from previous efforts, representing the aural side of their performance brilliantly, although it becomes ever clearer as the record progresses that FAIM are a band with too much energy to be experienced in just one medium. 

The Soliloquist marks the beginning of something special; a 90-second big-band instrumental heavily featuring the pursed lips of Karri and Skye from The Brow Horn Orchestra in an arrangement that ska legends would be right to envy. Burt Bacharachnaphobia gives us our first taste of the five-piece as a whole; the unpredictable nature of Noah Skape's vocals as they dance between the fast-paced riffs and melodies of the guitars sit in stark contrast to the reliability and warmth of the rhythm section, a feel that is replicated throughout the album without becoming stale. 

The mammoth list of standouts is headed up by drummer Jay Swensen's erratic beats, impeccable rolls, unbelievable fills and ever-impressive appropriateness, but also includes crowd favourite, Distractions (dat hook!), My Blood for the amazing guitar work and When It Rains because every good album has that one memorable jam. If I had my way though, this review would read exactly like the track list with three large green ticks next to each tune; there is never a dull moment on Pretty Well Over The Bay, a record that succeeds in providing a platform to contain at least one component of the enigma that is FAIM.