Fanclub

New Crush: Fan Club

by Jay Armstrong

After all these years hanging in the back refusing to acknowledge beyond waning disinterest the failed synth attempts to sell pop for popularity one could easily grow weary and suspect of all things falling in that direction.  Never though will that be the case, I sit candle lit in late night hours window waiting for something affecting, honest, simple to calm it all in suspended moments. Long has it been since someone has done it right in Austin. Could The Golden Ghetto have been the last? Maybe one of Mark Tonucci’s projects has come along since which is slipping my mind, certainly nothing recent stands out notable. In no way is it surprising to find Leslie Crunkilton, through her latest band Fanclub, to show us pop post ’97 can have a soul.

We could not get enough of her former band The Dizzease yet to say the respect for this project is a continuation for the previous would be unjustly dismissive. The Dizzease felt quaintly endearing, bumbling around warmly with their loose ended fringe concepts while Fanclub’s respect for their sound has an immediacy, their approach defined; these three–Crunkilton, Mike Lee, Daniel Schmidt– are all confidence and precision. They remain bubblegum so it would be a stretch to call this project more intelligent or mature, we could though say Fanclub has a purpose, a purpose without feigning false importance– which as you and I know all too well to be the true line in the sand of whether we can appreciate the simple visceral noise of a band regardless of which factionalized corner the sound embraces, doubly does this prerequisite go as our litmus test for pop; these three safely fall on the us side of the line.

Fanclub has a sound which does not resolve, it is a precise echo stirring naivety of immediate experience and intimidating gripping involvement. Certainly having things so tightly wound leaves us standoffishly weary of the 2010 experience such a distorted dreamy nature hearkens back to, they play the semblance off perfectly so we can safely lose ourselves in its ambiguity. Fanclub wrap us in hooded sweatshirt walks on cool midwestern nights, lost love, found friends, and all the crushing emotions that roll us without warning into those places of this-feels-everything-always while Crunkilton’s voice remains a positive space of understanding and acceptance, calling us to appreciate the being and being alive. Somewhere between Risk’s “Part Time Lover” 7″ and They Go Boom!! is an attraction to Fanclub without overt familiarity; could be the songs being woven with Circuit 7 level tightness or just the simple elation we all feel to have a pillar of pop in town to lean on once more, whatever the “it” is, having a Fanclub album in the near future will be incredible. In the meantime we are left being pacified by whatever shows we get to catch them at and this first offering of their song “Leaves.”