Folly - These Are the Names of Places We Broke Down In:
Record Label: None
Release Date: March 30, 2008
You won't find many bands that dare to venture into the uncharted waters of fusing hardcore and ska, or any other polar opposite musical styles, and return triumphantly with a legion of true believers in tow. With their finale, These Are the Names of Places We Broke Down In:, Folly reinstate their D.I.Y. upbringing by digitally selling their EP exclusively through their myspace page (without a label to push it, mind you) while demonstratively pulling a 180-degree turn back to the days of a band foregoing responsibility and just having fun. It's quite ironic considering the underlying impetus behind this music release is to commemorate the hardly coveted times of being stranded in a new town due to van failure. Call it a bold statement, but the band is moving into the ranks of a sonic phenomenon as they come off the heels of 2006's Resist Convenience and tug at the reins of retirement with These Are the Names of Places We Broke Down In:.
"Well, let's start the insanity," declares Jerry Seinfeld inaugurating the first track "Port St. Lucie, Florida," as if negating the craziness that had already carried over ever since the first LP Insanity Later (an omen, perhaps?). Loyal fans will applaud as they hear vocalist Jon Tummillo discharging a familiar, nigh-bloodcurdling scream. As is the case with most of the EP, this song is pretty brief clocking in at 1:12, but the sheer mania it brings is sufficient enough to dispel any notions of aged-induced rustiness one might assume had befallen the band.
The album production shines with its effortless segue into "Murfreesboro, Tennessee," a tranquil interlude that opens up a dichotomy between the band's aggressive and reflective nature. These dual temperaments really capture the whole human element during the stressful times that a band might endure.
Folly return to riveting form with "Anderson, Indiana," my personal favorite out of the bunch. It's oozing with Agim Colaku's and Geoff Towle's razor-sharp guitars and Anthony Wille's versatile drumming we've all come to expect from the guys. Above all, the audience is witness to the tight brotherhood Folly keep with the active/past bands they have shared the stage with (the track's guest vocals list consists of Tim of One Dead Three Wounded, Paul of Captives, Eric of Killed by Memories, and Brad of Black Life). Folly end the song perfectly with a ballsy breakdown recited with the most vulnerable, as well as memorable, line on the EP: "Surely this must be the death of me!" The next jam "Odessa, Texas" picks up speed with the tempo shifting all the way into fifth gear. Tummillo consistently writes some pretty outlandish, yet very clever lyrics, and this song features some peculiar imagery: "We few bad apples / Half a dozen rotten eggs / Assault the grocer / Produce! Betray!"
If you enjoy gang vocals, "Fremont, Ohio" has got the goods. It starts off as naked palm-muting by the guitar interjected sporadically by accenting from the bass and drums but crescendos into a unifying chant that will bring the stage into your home and tempt you to join the pile-on. "Portland, Oregon" is, I believe, the least stellar song out of the lot. It's still enjoyable (not to mention, a NOFX reference is made), but it lacks a bit in the originality department. The last song in Folly's catalogue, "Sussex, New Jersey," is definitely the black sheep but a refreshing composition nonetheless. It's a piano treatment of Insanity Later's "The Morning Song" and "Piano Player" into one cohesive arrangement. Like it or hate it, nothing says "good-bye" like a piano-led dirge.
For a die-hard fan, it's always tough to hear of your beloved band's willful departure from music. Although I wanted to eschew myself from the reality of their ultimate demise, I was very much excited when I heard Folly were releasing a digital EP of their final material. Their final effort encapsulates their perpetual energy for one last hoorah. The last chapter of an 11-year career has come to an end as Folly leave their final thumbprint on the hardcore/punk scene.