Why Faith Healer Rules by Jarrett Samson
Look, let’s face it: Bands. Who needs ’em? Mine included. It feels like there’s 3 bands for every 1 person in Canada. People have been playing instruments on a stage for years now. YEARS! Look at how many people have traded their squire jaguar in for 1/8 of the cost of licensing ableton software. Are they right to do it? …mmmaybe?
No, they are wrong. Bands are good. Band are relevant. Faith Healer is the proof.
Faith Healer is one of those bands where the sum of its parts somehow add up to way more than you could ever expect. Their records sound almost timeless, like they could have been made any time in the last 40 years and you’d believe it. (In fact, the dial-tone that opens Try 😉 might make you more inclined to disbelieve that it came out in 2017). These records are things I listen to and I love them and then I get angry because why can’t I make something this good? Who do they think they are? But then I feel fine again when I remember that I get to listen to them again and again and again until I’m even older and crankier than I am now.
The songwriting. Jeeze. There are so many bands (again, mine included) where you hear them and go “oh, they really like this band.” Someone loves This Heat, someone else is into Black Flag, etc etc etc. I have absolutely no idea what records Faith Healer listened to, what music inspired or drove Jessica to write these songs.
They stand between genres in this thin space that allows a listener to just subtly nudge them into whatever category might make them feel most comfortable with enjoying it yet at no time can that audience limitation truly limit the music. I mean, does this sound like AM radio hits or savage Can jams? Doesn’t that solo kind of sound like Boston, or is it Television? What band can I compare them to in my 300 word review if they don’t explicitly spell it out for me?!?
How does this all work? Well, it works because it doesn’t sound like any of those things. It sounds like Faith Healer.
Live, the band is on fire every time I see them, not a hair out of place (except for Renny’s as he hams up his solos) and composed of some of the all-time MVPs of the last decade in Canadian music. It’s ‘tight’, but not in the way you passively say to a band who let you use their drums but you hated their set, nor is it tight in a regimented, bland, over-rehearsed and sterile way– it’s tight because the whole band is playing with each other, knows how to play with each other, and (I’m hoping/assuming) LIKE playing with each other. It’s all I want out of seeing a band these days. It’s great music made by great people. I feel privileged to know them, to share a label with them, and to get to have this music in my life and in my ears and eye line pretty often.
All that being said, scheduling is leaving me unable to see them play at Kazoo! Fest, so someone let me know how it is. I bet it’s pretty good.
Jarrett Samson is the leader singer and guitarist for Tough Age, who will be performing at Kazoo! Fest 2018 on Friday, April 13th at ANAF (32 Gordon St.)