As declarations of intent go, defining your sound as ‘opera house’ is as bold as they come. The trouble with Fol Chen’s third longplayer is that it never lives up to its pre-release promise. Instead the LA collective’s synthesized blustering lands somewhere between The Blow’s more cutesy washes and Grimes at her most prosaic.
While occasional pirouettes brings welcome relief- “I.O.U.” is a fascinating blow-out of glacial R&B and “Boys In The Woods” plays the oddball pop card with impressive finesse – they’re consistently drowned out by insipid, overly complex electro throngs. Neither opera nor house, The False Alarms disappoints in every possible way.
First published in the print edition of Under the Radar