Montreal, Canada-based metal act Fallstaf are attempting to forge their own sub-genre, calling it “brass metal.” While that might be a bit like calling ska “brass punk,” what else can it be called? Obviously, this is a brand of metal that features brass instrumentation, namely Theon trombone.
It does feel like something that should have happened about 15 years ago, back when The Mighty Mighty Bosstones were big — and I’m not trying to make a comparison here. Nonetheless, brass metal is here now and it’s surprisingly not bad. I should note, however, that the brass doesn’t shine through in my car as much as it does through my headphones jacked into my home stereo. Actually, the whole recording of Bastard Sons of a Pure Breed sounds better through my cans (Ultrasone HFI-2400).
Fallstaf – “The Cost”
For the most part, Fallstaf’s Bastard Sons of a Pure Breed is a metal album, but there are pretty clear influences from ska, lots of punk, and grunge… even post grunge. I do like Iann’s vocal quality, it’s gritty and raw and doesn’t meander into metalcore or death growls. However, there’s not a whole lot of range in it. But, Fallstaf wisely included an acoustic version of “My Demons,” which proves to be among this album’s most memorable, to showcase Iann’s “softer” side, which for some reason reminds me of Michael Le Bon of Duran Duran. “Fuck the Fence” also features some vocal range, but with this track I was left feeling underwhelmed; with a title like that I was expecting something that was going to hit me like Georges St-Pierre, but I ended up fighting with Ralph Macchio (can you believe that dude is like 50?).
While Fallstaf piques your interest with the opening track, “Dark Days,” it’s not until the third track, “Eulgy,” that you’ll say, “Oh, OK, I get it, and it’s kind of cool. I want to hear some more.” However, the chorus and the breakdown will cause you to think of Alice in Chains, specifically “Sludge Factory.” “The Hounds” is another Fallstaf track that echoes Alice in Chains.
Fallstaf’s Bastard Sons Of A Pure Breed is original if it’s anything. I like it and I’m sure there are plenty of fans in their local Montreal, but I’m not sure it’s something I’m going to reach for in a pinch. Listening to this requires a certain mood and mindset or an unquenchable hunger for brass in your music, which isn’t me. I’m giving this two skulls because it’s so specific and people who like this sort of thing should get it, but if it’s not your thing, it’s at least worth a rubberneck.
- Yell! Rating (x/5 Skulls):
- Bastard Sons of a Pure Breed
- Year Released:
- 25 October 2011
- Brass Metal
- Official URL: