Fainting Goats
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Fainting Goats

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- GOOD TIMES 8/17/06 (Santa Cruz CA)

"For the lover of addictive hooks, perfect choruses and tight harmonies, modern times have become a desperate Mad Max scenario, with melody-parched pop fiends roaming the musical wastelands in search of that scarcest of commodities: the catchy tune. So who'd have guessed that right here in Santa Cruz, a well-kept secret of a band was bogarting a handful of gleaming alt-pop gems and flexing a likeable sense of wit to boot? The two most infectious songs on Fainting Goats Native Sounds of the Golden West CD come courtesy of drummer/vocalist David Roda, whose Lemonade and How Do You Groove It? will stick in your head until surgically removed. With a voice that lazily wafts irony into the atmosphere, Roda sometimes sounds so much like Camper Van Beethoven/Cracker frontman David Lowery that most listeners probably wouldnt bat an eye if you told them it was the same guy under a different name. The CVB similarities don't stop there, though; like the members of that band, Fainting Goats have their tongues so firmly planted in their cheeks that they might as well have them sewn in. The styles of the Goats' three songwriters are as compatible as cigarettes, sleeveless shirts and tabloid TV, though it would've been nice to hear more from guitarist/vocalist Don Roland; his two contributions, Burt's Boy and Cry On Cue, are sterling-solid, with the latter weighing in as one of the album's standout tracks. On the whole, an impressive, miles-above-average first effort." - Good Times Weekley


- SANTA CRUZ SENTINEL 12/23/06



We all know that when it comes to the live music scene, Santa Cruz is an anomaly. With an average of 20 national touring bands stopping by our fair county each week, we match and exceed the entertainment choices of many a much larger city.

That's the good news. The bad news? With so many national acts playing the clubs, many Santa Cruz-based bands get left in the lurch. It used to be that club owners would hook a local band up with an opening slot, but these days tours are often two- and three-band package deals so that bookers don't even have an option of tapping local bands to open. And with venues like the Aptos Club and the Mediterranean closing their doors in the past year or so, bands are having an even harder time finding places to hone their stage chops and gain a local following.

"There was a time in Santa Cruz when there was a happening local music scene, but that was a long time ago," said David Roda. Roda is the drummer/vocalist for the Fainting Goats, a Santa Cruz indie rock band that has a knack for writing supremely catchy, slightly offbeat songs. "Now the only places we can get a gig are the lower-end clubs and bars on a weekday night."

I recently stopped by the Fainting Goats rehearsal space to chat with the foursome — Roda, guitarist/vocalist Don Roland, guitarist/vocalist Dave Harrah and bassist Ken Stockett — and to hear some of their newer songs. I came away from the meeting thinking to myself, "Why aren't these guys a buzz band around town?"

"If a band can get a big local draw, you can get better nights around town, but how do you get that when you can't get into clubs in the first place?" asked Roland. "It's a Catch-22."

The Fainting Goats aren't bitter about their luck getting gigs in Santa Cruz. The situation has forced the band to look elsewhere for shows, something that "local" bands often have trouble with. They're regulars at the Starry Plough in Berkeley, where they play their next gig Dec. 30. They also play pretty frequently in San Francisco at places like the Hotel Utah; catch them at the Edinburgh Castle, also in the city, Jan. 12.

The Fainting Goats released their first CD, titled "Native Sounds of the Golden West," back in July. With three songwriters in the band, the impressive thing about the disc is how cohesive it sounds. It's not like the band members are all childhood friends; they've been a band for three years, and most of the members didn't really know each other before the band. But Roda, Roland and Harrah's songwriting styles are remarkably well-suited to each other.

"What I like about the band, you can't tell who wrote each song on the CD without looking at the liner notes," said Roland.

You'd think that with three guys fighting for space on each album, ego would get in the way. Not so at all, and that's a rare thing to find in a band where songwriting duties are shared.

"I always have ideas for my songs that I present to the band with a grain of salt, because I don't expect them to play it exactly that way," Harrah said. "I feel like we're all mature enough musicians that we don't have to worry about each other so much."

Roda nodded his head in agreement, saying, "When I bring in a song and show the band the chords, nine times out of ten, the first time we play it sounds pretty damn close to what I heard in my head."

Even with a CD that's less than six months old, the Fainting Goats have been plowing ahead, writing numerous new songs that the band feels strongly about. They still retain the quirky twin-guitar, three-part vocal harmony attack that gives the band their uniqueness. Still, don't wait for their next CD to be released; head down to Streetlight Records in downtown Santa Cruz for "Native Sounds of the Golden West," or visit to www.CDBaby.com/faintinggoats. To learn where the band name came from, search for "Fainting Goats" on YouTube for a few amusing videos.


- Santa Cruz Sentinel



“Fainting Goats aren't your ordinary alt-rock band. With a sense of songcraft that would make any power-pop maven of the last 20 years jealous, Fainting Goats play alarmingly effective and affecting everyman pop-rock, the sort of thing that is embraced by the choir who still love what Brian Wilson once aptly dubbed “teenage symphonies to God” - Metro Santa Cruz 8-07

“Supremely catchy” - Santa Cruz Sentinel 12-06 -


“Gleaming Alt-Pop gems”- Good Times Weekly - 8-06 -

“Four guys, three part harmonies, two guitars and one helluva lot of quirkiness and catchiness. Santa Cruz's own Fainting Goats have a knack for writing off-beat indie pop songs that kick around your cranium for days”. - Santa Cruz Sentinel 7-07 -




“One of the hidden gems of the county's music scene” - Good Times - 8-07 -





“An Indie Rock quartet with miles of pop sensibility and the kind of playful allure you'd find at a 24 hour donut shop”- Metro Santa Cruz 9-19-07 - Santa Cruz Sentiel, Good Times Weekly, Metro Santa Cruz


Discography

Native Sounds of the Golden West (independent full length 2006)

The unofficial single 'Lemonade' has received airplay on Santa Cruz stations KUSP public radio and KZSC collage radio as well as select podcasts.

'Native Sounds of the Golden West' available on itunes, Rhapsody, CD baby and many other retailers.

Photos

Bio

The origin of Fainting Goats can be traced back to one fateful evening in a Juneau, AK karaoke bar circa mid 2003. It is here that future band members, executing near perfect El Debarge classics were suddenly vaporized and teleported to a small garage in laid back Santa Cruz CA's east side. A gestation period began, orchestrated by towering Sophia Loren like beings on floating, stone surfboards. A series of dreams revolving around turbo charged pinto wagons, boy meets girl, and city sized sombreros in the sky introduced a catalyst. A band was born!

Extended Bio
The sunny yet treacherous terrain of California:
In 2003, Santa Cruz CA based Fainting Goats found common ground among the three distinct styles of drummer/vocalist Dave Roda , guitarist/vocalist Dave Harrah, and guitarist/vocalist Don Roland.
In the years since, from the SF Bay Area and beyond, FG has continually showcased, winning new fans with their sunny harmonies, twin guitar attack and "alt pop gems". The proof can be heard on the independently released debut 'Native Sounds of the Golden West' (2006).