Faceless Orphans is a five-man rock band from northern Quebec that displays some serious muscle on its self-titled debut record Faceless Orphans. The sound is straight up kick-in-the-teeth guitar rock that draws on the best rock of the 70s and 90s but gets blended with a certain Canadian angst and mining town grit that gets squarely in your face.
It’s not easy to establish an identity doing guitar music anymore, as so much of the rock vocabulary has been beaten to death, but Faceless Orphans have managed to do exactly that on this set. The songs are tuneful and aggressive at the same time, the guitars are loud and crunchy, and the intent is clearly to rock the house.
The band plays very well together and uses the basic elements of rock and roll to their full potential. Rhythms and grooves shift and churn to keep things interesting and create a huge pocket in every song. The interaction of guitarists Francis Camirand and Carle Marcotte, bassist Michael Gervais, and drummer Marco Lamarche is more dynamic and musical than most rock bands and it makes these tracks a compelling listen.
Vocalist Jean Landry is the perfect voice to sit on top of all this rhythm and easily alternates between melodic singing and tough-toned growling. Production is simple and open, letting the songs breathe and run free. The album rocks all the way through but high points include “I Guess,” “Child Wolf,” “Sorry,” and “Swallowed Hole.”
Faceless Orphans Scream Raw Classic Rock
Faceless Orphans is only a couple years into its rock and roll journey but shows major league promise already. The songs have the right mix of sand, sweetness, and smarts and have a great shot at finding and attracting a larger audience. Fans of alt-rock done properly need to hear this band.
-Review by Mike O’Cull, independent music journalist.