Favourite Sons,
Down Beside Your Beauty,
Album Review

Brooklyn’s Favourite Sons seemingly have a few confessions to make. First of all it seems the Sons, or maybe that should read principle songwriter Ken Griffin, hasn’t exactly been the best hubby/boyfriend/partner to his long suffering other half. Secondly, he and his band also seem to have a U2 fixation, which occasionally blights ‘Down Beside Your Beauty’, their debut long player.

Fortunately, quality songwriting will always shine through in the end and ignoring the odd, rather blatant if I must say so, Bono-isms, there’s a fairly decent record trying to force its way out of the starting blocks here from this currently little known quintet.

Formed out of the ashes of Rollerskate Skinny and the less-well acquainted (on these shores anyhow) Philadelphia art rockers Aspera, Favourite Sons mix together a whole host of poise and panache that comes from a similar angle to that of The Posies or even mid-80s period REM, as Griffin’s distinctive part-folk, mid-country twang punctuates the rest of the band’s not too complicated, but idealistically crafted all the same melodies with a touch of elegance and despair. So much so in fact that ‘The Things We Do To Each Other’ and ‘Hang On, Girl’ manage to sound like both the saddest and most uplifting pieces of music you’ve ever heard, depending where you join the song of course.

Not that unhappiness and indifference should be welcomed at every opportunity, so ‘Rise Up’ and ‘Round Here’ mix a congenial approach with more uptempo sounds straight from the backroom of Jason And The Scorchers or more recently Jonathan Fire*eater’s wardrobe, that makes a fairly impressive collection of songs that will delight and distraught in equal measures.



Dom Gourlay