Review of Fanfarlo's single Drowning Men
Fanfarlo hail from London and were a 6 piece outfit and 'Drowning Men' is the fifth single release from the band, with their first being in late 2006, two in 2007 and a shared single with Sleeping States in March of last year. However, this single is the first in their now 5 piece line-up. Swedish connections can be found in vocalist/guitarist Simon Balthazar and the band have a huge arsenal of instruments at their fingertips; keyboards, violin, mandolin, glock, saw, banjo, trumpet, sax and clarinet aside from the standard drums, guitar and bass.
From the opening four bars of 'Drowning Men' you instantly get string flavours of Arcade Fire. Even Balthazars' vocals have similarities with Arcade's Win Butler. So can we just summarise that they are in fact just a rip off of Montreal's fine septet? The answer: No.
Whilst there are obvious likenesses, Fanfarlo still seem to have some originality. Clever use of instruments and canny arrangements give this single instant likeability. The B-side 'Sand and Ice' again has all the above regarding similarities to other bands, if not more so, but the key to Fanfarlo is they don't come across as mere plagiarisers but as talented songwriters and musicians.
Official Site -