Love, Kisses, and Write ups

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#1 on Uproxx January Bandcamp Releases

Portland, Maine group FonFon Ru rose from the ashes of Leverett, a now-defunct indie rock band with some electronic and alternative influences. Multiple members of the latter band are in the former, and now, they’re incorporating what made Leverett so enjoyable with a harder and more directly rocking edge. Indeed, FonFon Ru rocks pretty hard, like on the the breakneck and delightfully titled “ASMRGUMENTS,” the sludgy and slower-paced album-closing title track, and the post-punk-leaning “Last Chance.” Confidently led by frontman Harry James, Death And Texas is aggressive yet precise, a tribute to what made the rock of yesterday so appealing and what could make the rock of tomorrow worthwhile.e.

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“When FonFon Ru started playing shows a couple years ago, I remember thinking how foolish it would be to try to guess what they’d sound like. Four dudes in their early/mid-twenties with incredible chops and a ton of rock education, they could truly have gone in any direction. With their debut album, Death and Texas, released last week, FonFon Ru have indeed found an identity: they're a straightforward rock band. They just happen to have gotten there by boiling down a multitude of influences from the outer limits of rock history, like shoegaze, Krautrock, '60s psych, SST-era punk, Godspeed-y post-rock, no wave, '90s indie, and much more.”

“FonFon Ru are nimble stylists, but there's nothing affectatious about this record. Certain guitar riffs or vocal lines recall Swervedriver, the Strokes, Great Western Plain, Sonic Youth, Whale Oil, James Murphy, Husker Du, or Interpol, but it wouldn't make sense to say FonFon Ru sound like any of those. They're just baked into the hardware. There's some solid studio work and production tricks on Death and Texas, but the band’s sound has a certain unflashiness that's impossible to fake. It's as though they simply played together long enough to discover they sounded how they did.”