There are times when I’d prefer not to review something. When I could just tell you to listen to something and experience how wonderful a song is, without telling you how it sounds or why it’s so wonderful. This is one of those times.
The problem is that Faux Pas asked me really nicely to review the song and, that being my job and because I’m easily swayed by people being nice, I agreed. But I’d rather not because that’s going to ruin it for you. You’ll miss out on my experience the first time I listened to it. So if you’d like to experience that I’m going to give you the opinion of skipping to the embedded Spotify stream at the bottom of this review now. However if you’d like to read what I think about the track then you have the option of reading on. I want you to think about this, think about it hard.
Right so have you thought about this properly? This is almost your last chance to go right to hearing the song.
So for those of you that have decided to read on, here’s the review.
First, this is an alternative version, I’ve heard the, let’s call it the non-alternative version and it’s fab, it’s different, it’s gorgeous in it’s own way. If you’re lucky you might get to hear the non-alternative version.
‘Gorilla Man’ is a tribute, a tribute to Ru’s father. Ru says “Okay this track is about the greatest man I will ever know. Being completely blunt, the song is about honesty. At a time when I was in a particularly grey frame of mind, I spent a little while reflecting on some of the beautiful relationships I have had the privilege to experience. This song is my way of giving thanks to my father Andy, someone who poured an immeasurable amount of love into my childhood.
“I found myself feeling completely absorbed with fascination for his character whilst my grandmother (his mother) was in hospital. I was truly humbled and given an incredible lesson as to what it means to be a good son. As I played around with some ideas, one in particular had an innocence that brought me back to my childhood, and to my relationship with Andy. I didn’t come up with anything particularly complex in either the instrumental or the vocal, this simplicity breathes vulnerability into the track. These elements combine to ensure the message of acknowledging the struggle of those you love, whilst showing gratitude to them for the joy they have given you is infectiously poignant from the very first listen”.
It’s at this point I’m going to ruin your first listen to the song, so it’s your last and final chance to skip to the Spotify stream.
For those of you that know Faux Pas, you’ll know that they do loud alternative punky music. And that was what I expected, and love about them.
A slight aside: It took me a while to get into Faux Pas, they grew on me. The first time I saw them I wasn’t sure. Then gradually I started to like them. And then the last time I saw them in Manchester I fell totally in love with the band.
So the song starts quietly – just simple guitar. And then Ru’s vocals come in, emotional, heartfelt. You expect it to build to something louder, something dirtier at some stage but the longer it goes on, you realise that it isn’t going to. That this is a ballad, a quiet heartfelt ballad. You realise that this song is an honest, intimate expression of Ru’s love and admiration for his father. So honest are the lyrics that it’s actually hard to listen to, that level of emotion is almost overwhelming.
So now you know why I didn’t want to tell you what this sounds like. I didn’t want to ruin the experience of hearing it without having one idea of what it might sound like. I wanted you to be a state of wonderment at quite how poignant, emotional and incredibly beautiful this song is. And at the same time surprised at how it’s not what you expected to hear from Faux Pas.
I hope that this hasn’t ruined your first listen too much. At the risk of repeating myself this is beautiful, it’s moving, it reaches into your heart, your soul.
To accompany this release, in lieu of live shows, Faux Pas present an Official Music Video, a BBC Introducing live session, a nostalgic marketing campaign and a short merch run of patches raising funds for the NHS, in response to recent nurse and frontline worker strikes against an absence in pay rise, during the COVID-19 pandemic.
APPLE MUSIC: https://music.apple.com/us/artist/faux-pas/1189330538