"Bastard Sons of a Pure Breed"

By Dr. Abner Mality

Trombone is the only instrument Yours Truly can ever claim to have played proficiently (unless we are talking about "medical" instruments like scalpel, forceps, etc, which I am quite adept with) so I have a soft spot for it. Now Canada's Fallstaf claims to have invented "trombone metal", so I am curious but cautious while listening to this effort.

Played by the masked Hitman, the trombone does indeed play a prominent role in the band's music and most of the time adds a kind of melancholy feel to the music. There's not a lot of trombone soloing, but the "bone" is used to add atmosphere and a brassy kick to the riffs. Speaking of which, Fallstaf is also truly heavy, but perhaps not in a way some of you would appreciate. The choppy, thick, rhythm-heavy tunes take me back to nu-metal days, with a hardcore flavor added. That will chase many of you off right there, but it's the more brutal kind of nu-metal and to give Fallstaf their due, a number of these songs like "The Cost" and "The Hounds" have clever arrangements that are more complex than usual. The bass plays a strong part in this music and almost overwhelms the guitar at times. Vocalist Iann bellows and roars with a deep tone, while thin and reedy clean vocals pop up from time to time.

It ain't totally my cup of tea, but it is entertaining and heavy and the trombone doesn't hurt at all. And with "Fuck The Fence", the band has created a super-catchy classic tune that will stick in your head for days...almost worth the price of admission alone.  The final analysis: Fallstaf is kind of the inbred cousin of Dog Fashion Disco but they are not without merit.