I don’t know whether I had heard Avalanche by Folks some time ago, clocked it as a great song, and subsequently completely forgot about them, or whether the wave of familiarity and quality I was struck with was purely down to the brilliance of the track. I hope it was the latter, but really, it doesn’t matter.
What does matter is that Folks are yet another fearsomely talented act from Manchester. Yes, the same Manchester that gave us Wu Lyf, Secret Pilot etc etc etc. The one band that, like Folks, emerged from the same city that may be of particular interest however is Oasis. More specifically Noel Gallagher, now of ‘High Flying Birds’. Having only played a meagre 7 shows and with only a handful of demos available, Folks were propelled to a brief modicum of fame by their supporting slot for Noel’s post-Oasis, Beady Eye shunning new act. Whether this was a purely nepotistic occurrence, or due to Folks virtually undeniable talent is arbitrary. What isn’t, is the musical trajectory on which said early exposure started them on. And that, is a good thing.
Having already released an album ‘I See Cathedrals’, Folks are admittedly approaching the industry differently, but by no means is it not working for them. Lead track Avalanche, as already explained. is perhaps best placed to evidence this. Delicate group melodies washing over an overbearingly catchy riff only added to by the confident twang of front man Scott Anderson’s vocals. A sound like something straight out of a late Stereophonics album, mixed with the bluesy Rock & Roll Menomena have been known to master. To merely compare Folks to another act – or amalgam of acts – though, without in some way trying to explain what it is about them, aside from their admirable similarities to other great acts, is to do them a disservice.
As an attempted explanation then, their latest free release ‘Skulls & Bones’ shall come under our somewhat blunt analytical scalpel. The same charismatic vocals reside, but this time over a grittier backdrop of a racing bass line, interspersed with screeching guitar and overwhelming percussion. There’s a real wealth of character and sound here that yearns for a greater following. However much you try to hide them, the ‘sounds like’ are still there to be made, but yet somewhat paradoxically the sound they create is still undoubtedly their own. And that then, is Folks. A Mancunian alternative 6 Piece with friends in high places and a sound to match them. Expect big things in the future? We’re not sure. Expect more great music? Most definitely.
Folks – Avalanche [right-click to download]
Folks – Skull and Bones [right-click to download]