A favorite of many in the Asbury area, The Fave are a Hoboken-based band that are always drawing enthusiastic new fans in with their action-packed shows. The outfit recently stopped in for a set at Chico’s in Asbury Park, and guitarist Dominick Della Fave gave me a copy of their new EP, Watching Me Starve. This is the band’s third disc to date and like the previous two, it captures the true charm of one of the best pop rock groups in the state.
Watching Me Starve was recorded at Water Music and produced by The Fave. Able and seamless mixing duties were split between Sal Mormando (Kaleidoscope Sound in Union City) and Bill Emmons (Think Tank Studio in Hoboken). Vocalist Jaime Rose Della Fave is hands down my favorite vocalist on the planet. Quiet and reserved off stage, when she lets loose with the band I always do a double take. Her smooth and powerful style is on par with Lacey Mosley (Flyleaf) and Cassadee Pope. When combined with guitarist/vocalist Dom Della Fave, the pair takes harmony on a very flavorful journey to the center of your mind.
This is guitar driven rock and roll in the colorful vein of New York’s Pretty Reckless and the ever popular Hey Monday. But The Fave maintain their own originality, mixing the traditional power of classic bands like The Who with a punkish Blink-182 snarl wrapped up in the candy coated harmonies of Paramore. Like a gritty, 1960s family band (if the Partridge Family and The Brady Bunch were injected with Charles Manson blood), the core family group reads each other like a book. Brother and sister make way for cousin and bassist Edward Jude Smith, who pops like a resurrected Sid Vicious, timing his actions and bringing the groove-laden attitude for days.
The CD starts off with “Wonder Why,” a psychedelic mix of guitars, bass and drums that pan back and forth across The Della Fave’s dual vocal attack before kicking into the riff-dominated intro. Guitar sounds border on Crazy Horse mixed with Weezer as Jaime Rose flies vocal high, her soprano range soaring effortlessly and piercing into the very heart of this upbeat, analog gem.
“4 Days” teeters on fragile, single-note guitar runs that slip into shimmering echo pools before Jaime Rose pulls heart strings into the direction of a surprise sleeper chorus. Drums and bass hammer down the mid-tempo middle as Smith, Della Fave and Fran Azzarto (drums) do double duty with their wall of sound backing vocals. Phil Spector would dig the shit out of this if he wasn’t busy doing 19 years to life.
“Plastic Suitcase” scuttles in on hi-hat hits and liquid bass grooves as electric guitars percolate and drone open string, Persian scaled hypnosis. Once again, you have to be an android not to react to Jaime’s pristine vocal capabilities. I know I’m making a lot of noise about this singer, but honestly, she’s got ‘em all beat. Her power, control and range are more versatile than a Swiss Army knife.
"King Dom" Della Fave slashes into the punk rock bass slides of Smith who choke holds the foundation behind the able backbeats of Azzarto. The band rumbles into a free-form middle-eight that brings that Who recollection to light. Drums scatter and fire between mounting guitar power and rumbling bass antics before they settle in and circle back with reverb wet harmonies. The Della Fave’s splash into an arabesque, stepping stoned vocal duet before crashing into “The Wind Cries Mary” styled outro. Very clever and very catchy!
“Starve” is the disc centerpiece and asks the age old question, “Why should we starve trying to be a star?” We all know the answer to that one. I love the dynamic juxtaposition of brother and sister Della Fave as they crank out savage, full voiced grit and Joan Jett growl before steering the raucous band down the CSNY rabbit hole in the middle-eight (around 2:10 for you purists). Just as a magician brings back disappearing things, the band reemerges from the hat, surging into a bizarre and Beach Boys tsunami daydream before exploding back into the dirty, ballsy chorus. The song double times to beat the banshee to the barn as Della Fave pulls distorted lead lines straight from the spiritual guidance of Neil Young. Things start to move into hyper drive here, like a tape deck on fast forward as they blaze like that motorcycle madmen from The Doors on a collision course with the final, sustaining chords of this mind-expanding song.
Watching Me Starve is a teasing appetizer for more sustenance to come, but it’s also a phenomenal example of making an impact that can take this band all the way to their main course.
The Fave will be celebrating their release at Maxwell’s in Hoboken on Friday, Sept. 28. Also on the bill are The Micks, Motorboat, and SpeakEasy.
For more info on one of New Jersey’s most lethal bands that’s made up entirely of school teachers (true fact), head over to reverbnation.com/thefave.
Musicians On Call Rally For The Remembrance Of Musician Bob Warren
The “Two Thumbs Up” award goes out New Jersey promoter Deb Ferrara. With the help of Musicians On Call, Deb managed to raise over $5,000 for the awareness and prevention of prostate cancer. Deb Ferrara is best known as the longtime promoter for New Jersey Songwriters In The Round, which ran for many years over at Maxwell’s. She has also had to contend with the devastating effects of prostate cancer. The event was to mark the memory of her husband, guitarist Bob Warren, who succumbed to prostate cancer on September 27, 2011. He was only 52 years old.
The event, Rockin’ For Bob, was hosted by the Music Den in Randolph, NJ. The beneficiary was the organization Musicians On Call. MOC is a group that goes out to various hospitals, bringing tangible empathy to the bedside through music. They have performed for more than 300,000 patients and families since they started this in 1999.
Musicians On Call are a nationwide organization, and they have branches in New York (headquarters), Philadelphia, Nashville, Miami, Washington, D.C. and soon Los Angeles. Artists such as James Taylor, John Mayer, Seal, Darius Rucker and Lady Antebellum have donated their talent in an effort to bring some music-based happiness into patients’ lives.
The event also featured a silent auction, where celebrity artists such as Billy Joel, Joe Walsh and Cousin Brucie donated items for the charities use. I wanted to mention this past event because Deb and Bob have been part of the Shoreworld family for years, and this is something that affects us all in one way or another. The fact that Musicians On Call rallied the troops and made a real effort continues my belief that artists and musicians are the real heroes when it comes to giving selflessly and lessening the severity for those who really need their help in times of crisis.
It’s also not too late to help out after the fact. Deb has a site that is accepting any donation for this cause and you can go directly to the link provided if you would like to help out. Your donation will directly impact patients and improve quality of life for those who are suffering, just as MOC did for Bob.
For more information on Musicians On Call and how you can get involved, visit them over at musiciansoncall.org and go directly to the donation site for Bob Warren at stayclassy.org/rockinforbob