Four blood brothers creating infectiously catchy rock n roll laden with synth textures, dynamic rhythms, contemplative lyricism and luscious guitars. That’s the genius of Saskatoon’s post-pop rockers Foam Lake. Equally at home with swirling keyboard tones as with jagged driven guitars, they far exceed the sum of their individual parts.
With all the energy of a handful of amphetamines but the careful deliberateness of a philosophy major, Foam Lake craft majestic rock songs that shimmer with hooks at every turn while still retaining the raw emotion at the heart of every great band. Their debut full-length, “Force and Matter” - a succinct 38 minute package of harmonic glory, burrows its way into your earhole and doesn’t let go.
Comprehending the importance of maximizing their dynamic range, the record swings from absolute thunder to quiet whisper at the drop of a hat. Eldest brother Paul Ross’ songwriting places melody at the forefront of the entire album, demonstrating the importance of knowing when less is more by abandoning frivolous embellishment and instead delivering only exactly enough of what is needed. Barrett’s sinewy bass lines anchor the songs with a nimble character, and Tyler’s drumming punctuates the songs by abandoning the straight backbeat in favour of inventive patterns that push and pull. With youngest brother Kalen adding the textural polish through synth and guitar parts, the songs are painted brilliantly with a fully balanced palette of musical colours.
Drawing on a wealth of touring experience serving as roots mastermind Shuyler Jansen’s backing band, and Paul and Barrett’s previous service as half of the sibling supergroup Bloodlines (which saw them make stops at SXSW, CMJ, NXNE and even China), Foam Lake possesses every venue they enter with a combined spirit and determination that saturates the crowd with an energy and emotion that most bands only dream of transmitting.
The four brothers’ sound is heavily influenced by their father’s extensive record collection which impressed upon them the energy of the Ramones, the grit of Neil Young and My Bloody Valentine, and the lyrical smartness of the Smiths. Taking these influences and shaping them in an entirely new way results in Foam Lake pushing past musical revivalism and forging into brave new sonic territory.