The Bella Fayes
The Truth in a Beautiful Lie (Secret Decoder Records)
By: Alex Steininger
Much has been said about the return of rock. The Strokes, The White Stripes, The Hives, when do you not read about these bands? Their brand of garage-infused rock has offered hope to musicians and music fans, as stock in the song has risen, with more and more bands making it onto the radio without the force-fed hook at every corner.
The Bella Fayes' The Truth in a Beautiful Lie joins the ranks above the bands, without the commercial success (yet!).
Here is an infectious, rocking good time; the type of album you can crank and party to, sing along with driving in your car, or, if lyrics are your thing, you can sit down, with the booklet, and absorb the songs as you think about their meaning.
The opening hook of "Feel Like I Wanna Feel" screams radio hit, while the lyrics remind you of that girl you couldn't get out of your head, even as she screwed around town over and over again ("every boy down on the street/ has seen the bottom of her feet/ can't keep her down/ it's hard to keep her around/ I gotta feel like I wanna feel... it's alright").
"Wake It Up..." has the tough duty of following up the irresistible "Feel Like I Wanna Feel", though it seems up to the change. Another out-of-the-box hit with its "hey" chorus and mid temp garage rock roar, The Bella Fayes make no bones about it as they play loud and hard, maintaining balance between hook-laden and rock mayhem.
The danceable "Tables Will Turn" melds more garage rock with classic pop a la Elvis Costello. And "Trying To Find A Way" builds and builds before hitting an anti-climatic chorus that sends shivers down your spine.
Let's make one thing clear, though. The Bella Fayes are not a trend-hopping band by any means. The gentle "Poolside" caresses the best of the singer-songwriter, brought into the rock band format via a pop transport, and delivered slow and sweet, melting hearts as the band delivers a melodic, dream-inducing song of tranquil proportions.
The highest point on The Truth in a Beautiful Lie is "The Girl Most Likely To", a glowing, pop-soaked garage rocker, complete with a vibrant splash or organ to color up the landscape.
The Bella Fayes are a rock and roll band able to stretch their wings and deliver tender ballads ("In The Transistor's Glow") or screaming rockers with enough restraint to forgo going in the punk route ("Come"), but bold enough to take any punk band head-on and win.
The reason this band works is front man Lael Alderman's voice, an overly emotive voice that finds his heart and soul seeping out of his body every time he opens his mouth to deliver his poignant songs. Even when he's just trying to rock out and have a good time, he can't escape the honesty of his voice, and this propels the songs to a new level.
This is solid rock music that knows how to deliver a catchy, digestible song without compromising itself. I'll give this an A.