On the Wing NowWith a glut of “indy-rock” being released onto an unsuspecting world, it’s quite a pleasant surprise to discover a quiet, unassuming gem like Foreign Born’s current release. Alternately reminiscent of such varying bands as Interpol, Iron & Wine, and even John Lennon, On the Wing Now offers a series of flowing and inspiring songs for all chill-rock fans, if such a classification exists.

Opening with the quick drumbeats, clapping, and humming of “Union Hall”, the beautiful simplicity of The White Stripes is immediately called to mind, though this and “Into Your Dream” are the closest to the staccato Jack White vocals that lead singer Matt W. Popieluch lets out, opting for a more fluidic vocal tonality on the remainder of the record. Drawing most syllables out into delicately dripping phrases that float through the album’s tunes, Popieluch expresses a dark, slightly melancholy feeling that matches perfectly with and builds upon the well-constructed rhythms.

Formed in the summer of 2003, Foreign Born recorded a self-released single in 2004, before releasing their debut EP through StarTime International Records. After touring for several months, the band recorded this first full length album and self-released 500 hand-made copies before signing with Dim Mak Records for this official release at the end of August 2007. It was worth the wait.

Though most songs express despondent emotions, each song has its own unique voice, blending seamlessly into a complete story of an album. “The Nights Tall” is a slow, driven rock tune, exploring inner thoughts with equally expressive music and lyrics examining a pensive wandering walk through the night, stating simply that “These are times I don’t remember beginning, These are times I have a hard time reliving.” Meanwhile, songs like “Don’t Take Back Your Time” start out with loud, speedy drumbeats, leading into the more relaxed, smooth beats of the actual song. “Holy Splinter” is the most variant in style, beginning with a march-like drumbeat and a quiet acoustic guitar strum, only to bleed into restless vocals and psychadelic background sounds.

“On the Wing Now” is the kind of album that rarely sees the light of day: a truly ambitious voice in the wilderness of Indy rock. Though their influences are clearly heard, there’s nothing derivative about the band’s style or persona. As Foreign Born’s sound continues to evolve, there’s no doubt that audiences can expect to hear more from this inspired quartet.

Zach’s Rating: A
Interpol fan’s rating: B+
Fifty Cent fan’s rating: D+

To purchase On the Wing Now, visit Amazon
For more information on the band, visit their Myspace page

Be Sociable, Share!