The album cover for San Francisco act The Ferocious Few is a bit deceiving. From a glance, four figures adorn the cover and after a listen to the first few tunes of their debut 15-song long player “Juices,” snaps you to attention with its frantic roll through the best of whiskey-soaked blues, rock and a hint of lo-fi skuzz, you take a closer look and notice you’re hearing the work of just Francisco Fernandez (guitar, vox) and Daniel Aguilar (drums/programming).
You’re going to need a large glass to pour all of this debut’s ‘Juices’ together. A sweat-stained frenzy of the can’t-get-enough sound of acts like The Black Keys, Kings of Leon, Queens of the Stone Age or The Dead Weather are the most regurgitated upon first listen. Fernandez’s voice could very well be deserving of a mantle placement next to the Whites, the Followills and the Hommes after a rousers like “Midnight Ghost,” “Kathleen” and “Porcelain Doll.”
A hearty gulp of 15 songs, “Juices” is tracked well from screaming strummers to bar-counter ballads. “Crying Shame” on which Fernandez sings “lord we should be thankful that we felt any love at all…” leads straight into the drum rollup of the aforementioned “Midnight Ghost” and the foot-tapping party continues.
While the debut’s first half lends itself to a cotemporary worshipping, the second half takes a different, more vintage approach. After “Sawblades,” the album meanders down its road to the past that finds The Ferocious Few playing their take on the flowing sound of Tom Petty, The Rolling Thunder Revue or even (gasp!) Dave Matthews, (“Crazy Love” and “Lord oh Lord”) up through “How Did This Happen” which sounds like a straight-up sandwiching of Nirvana and Pearl Jam.
“Juices” is an overly solid debut album and these guys do have talent. Fernandez masters the voice the young, attention-sore rock fans will love, while Aguilar olds the whirl together. My only qualm is the seeming trouble the band has in locking down a true sound. They wobble from modern blues-soaked roll to a slightly bloated alternative sound that many are just plain tired of hearing. Truth is when you’ve got 15 tracks, a lot for a debut—especially in these times—the listener might get tired of pushing the food around on his plate looking for a bit they like and simply opt for something else entirely.
Words: Matt Draper
Check out the photos and review from their LA show at Les Deux here. And for The Ferocious Few tour dates, click here.