The Faim wants to get you in the right state of mind with their debut LP
I caught wind of The Faim roughly a year ago: although their debut EP Summer is a Curse is what first put them on my radar, what really cemented that status for me was witnessing the Aussies charm a crowd halfway across the world when I saw them open up for Hands Like Houses last November. Ever since then, I’ve been somewhere between quietly watching them from a distance and steadily anticipating what they would do next. But now that I’ve heard their long-awaited full-length, I no longer have any reason to still be sitting on the fence.
State of Mind clocks in at just over a half hour of runtime, and yet, the record as a whole is a complete body of work, despite its brief lifespan. Stylistically, it lives right in that overlap of stadium-ready arena rock and driving, anthemic alt rock. Through much of the album there’s this sense of pent-up angst—the same kind of pent-up angst that fuels all those emo anthems that ruled the airwaves in the mid-2000s. Just like those songs from many moons ago, I get this involuntary urge to belt out the words of upbeat singalongs like the opener “Tongue Tied,” standout “Buying Time,” and lead single “Amelie.” On these tracks blistering guitars provide a vicious undertone that only furthers their lasting effect. Even mid-tempo tunes like “Beautiful Drama,” the quasi-ballad “Human,” and the title track and closer have this anthem-like quality to them.
Driving anthems are what The Faim do best, but they don’t limit themselves to just that. While there is no doubt one particular sound that permeates throughout the entirety of State of Mind, the Perth-based quartet do briefly deviate from this on the album’s powerful penultimate track, the piano-driven ballad “Where the River Runs.” From the stripped-down feel of the song, to its slow and soft atmosphere, to its the dueling vocals, this sort of deviation is executed flawlessly, making it just another of the record’s highlights.
With State of Mind, The Faim finds a way to tap into that nostalgia from the mid noughties and give it this fresh new livelihood. For being a full-length debut, it would be expected for the four piece to have a ways to go yet on better honing in on their sound, but I can’t find anything here to support such an argument. Instead, there’s this focus and maturity to their sound that sets them apart from many of their peers, and even some of their counterparts from a decade and a half earlier. If their debut sounds like this, I can only imagine where they’ll go with the next release. But for now, why don’t we take the proper amount of time to digest and enjoy this one?