Aim & Ignite
by Micah McLain
Fans of The
Format were no doubt devastated when the band announced a hiatus in early 2008.
The Phoenix, Ariz. band is known for some of the most melodious, harmonious and
downright happy indie pop ever made. Well, it's time to turn that frown upside
down, because Nate Ruess of The Format has formed a new band with Andrew Dost (Anathallo) and Jack Antonoff (Steel Train)! His new band goes by the name of
fun. and has seemingly picked up right where The Format left off. The band's
name also serves as the perfect description of the music that has resulted from
their collaboration. Aim & Ignite, fun.'s debut album, might not rock
quite as hard as The Format's material but it is just as catchy and even more
Lead single "Walking the Dog" is guaranteed to make even the most
dedicated curmudgeon tap his foot and crack a smile, if not launch into a series
of cartwheels. Ruess and crew mix sunny guitars and keys with twinkling synths
and a chorus of "na na na" to create what should be the feel good hit of the
summer (or early fall). "At Least I'm Not As Sad (As I Used To Be)," another
standout track on an album full of standout tracks, begins as Ruess' gentle
lullaby intro evolves into a singing conversation complete with female vocals
and a group-led chorus. "All The Pretty Girls" is most similar to The Format's
material, complete with violin, more complex instrumentation, and a fuzzy
electric guitar solo.
fun. switches gears for the most beautiful and
surprisingly intimate track on the album as "The Gambler" finds an old man
recounting the details of his life long love affair with his wife. Over a
background of gently swooping violin and delicate piano, Ruess leads a first
person account of a couple's love from its initial inception through children,
near death and days spent together by the fire, culminating in lyrics like,
"you are the love of my life/You know that I/Will never leave your side."
Although The Format is gone for now, it's members continue to carry the indie
pop torch into their current projects and create music that is just as enjoyable
and sure to keep fans satisfied for months and years to come.
fun. plays Drunken Unicorn on September 20. Tickets are available now at Ticket Alternative.