The Fool's Agenda
Gig Seeker Pro

The Fool's Agenda

Boston, Massachusetts, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2019 | SELF

Boston, Massachusetts, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2019
Band Rock Grunge




"The Fool's Agenda -- From The Underground (EP Review)"

The 5-piece rock band The Fool’s Agenda released their debut EP “From the Underground” on October 31, 2019. From Salem, Massachusetts, the band was formed in June 2019, and it seems that they swiftly navigated their way around songwriting and completed an EP in just 5 months, with the debut single “When the Sun Shines” being released on September 13, 2019. The band, which define themselves as “a vintage inspired fusion of rock and blues, with a healthy dose of fantasy”, consist of college students whose ages differ between 21-23. The theme of their debut EP is moving on from the past mistakes or victories and realizing the effects of past experiences on oneself. They handle this heavy subject in 4 songs and a total of 14 minutes. I must say that the short length disappointed us as we were left wanting more of the classic rock-influenced instrumentals and especially Rhiannon Callahan’s beautiful voice. That said, “From the Underground” is a good teaser for what is to come from the band’s future releases.

Line Up
Rhiannon Callahan – lead vocals
Conor Reinold – lead guitar
Maddie Roth – rhythm guitar, keys and vocals
Jon Gray – bass and vocals
Kamryn Bode – percussion
Recorded at Small Pond Studios, mixed and produced by Ryan Blaney.

Total Length

Track List
1. When the Sun Shines (2:48)
The first song on the record is heavily connected to the over-archingtheme of change. This can clearly be seen in the chorus: “When the sun shines / Change is on the rise”. This theme is developed using lines such as “Distant music calls through the air / Pouring through the cracks of fear,” which convey the idea of not being able to move on. The “music” represents the peace that moving on will bring about.

The song is mostly built on top of a chord progression by the rhythm guitarist, Maddie Roth. The guitar plays by itself in the beginning, and the song progresses as the band members add their own unique parts to it. The lead guitarist Conor Reinold plays a line similar to the vocal melody of the verses in the beginning. When the vocals enter, Rhiannon Callahan takes over this main melody and the lead guitar serves as an embellishment for her bright and unique tone. At the 1:50 mark a new 4/4 riff enters, with a 3-3-2 subdivision. The lyrics at that point are “I hear you call me back,” signaling the chorus once again. The song ends at a very climactic point. If you play the first verse and last chorus back to back, you can definitely hear the rising action.

2. Stardust (3:24)
The third song of the EP starts with a simple guitar motif that will be played throughout the song. Then the synth and vocals come in, outlying the 3 chords of the verse of. After that, the drums kick in, giving the song the groove that makes us stay with the story that they’re telling. We get to hear the verse again with the added organs and back vocals. The way that Rhiannon sings the vocals reminds a lot of the way that Annie Haslam sang with Renaissance-they both sang as if they were telling a tale of a fantastic place. The ghost note touches of the drums and the mystical synth sounds give this chill and fresh sound to the song. The song feels complete with the little reverb-guitar solo in between the verses. The track’s theme resolve on the general theme of the EP, which is the way that your past/experiences grow you.

The story is told by the first-person viewpoint, where the author has lost the woman she loved and whining for her comeback. She is the beloved one that everyone is after. Even if this woman has “slipped through” her fingers, the song tries to give the message that we shouldn’t keep looking back-wanting to go back to those days that we miss. Instead, we should embrace the experiences and pased time and see how it grew us as a person, which is the most important thing after all.

“Daughter of the woods
Sunkissed and star-eyed
I still see her mind
Hiding beyond the clouds”

The song has a positive atmosphere and carries this signature mellow rocky sound of the TFA, which helps them to set the themes up that they want us to hear.

3. Whispers (3:13)
The third track from the EP, “Whispers”, mainly revolves around a four chord progression which, like the name suggests, almost feels like a tenuous whisper (when the drums and vocals enter) that even though is sometimes barely heard, can still be a crucial element that gives the song the feeling of unison and familiarity.

Having said that, the first cycle of this progression is actually without the drums and vocals (but this is also true for some other songs in the EP, which may cause a sense of repetition). This isolation helps set the scene without worrying too much about an intro, and the small addition of the piano at the start just proves the extent of how much attention the band can spend on small details like this.

The thing that struck me most as I was listening has to be the daring and incisive lead vocals by Rhiannon Callahan. Her intonation blends perfectly with the attitude of the band and literally carries the lyrics to another level. Her vocals for this song is not exactly a “whisper” (yes, pun intended) but much more of a poignant shout-out to the listener. Along with the back vocals by Maddie Roth, which are from a higher pitch, the band creates the perfect opportunity for possible experiments with vocal harmony which we are definitely hoping would be explored more on later songs to expand the sound of the band.

The song follows a simple structure of verses and a chorus followed in the end by a guitar solo by Conor Reinold that, along with Kamryn Bode’s drums, carries an influence from Jimmy Page while still preserving a unique and lively sense. Lyrically, the song follows a journey through a road where “the miles go on to nowhere.” The constant use of “we” as the subject shows that the listener is in this journey together with the narrator. The line “Babe I might just stay” directly reminds us of the loosely love-themed rock ballads from the 70’s while the cryptic lines in the last verse (“You wouldn’t understand”) carry the song into a darker atmosphere.

Overall, the song contains a tad of the oldies like Led Zeppelin, with a resemblance to more modern bands like Greta Van Fleet. As with their influences, The Fool’s Agenda also does a good job of bringing blues and rock together on a cozy medium that welcomes an audience from all ages.

4. Underground (5:25)
The final track of the EP, which is also the track that gives the EP its name, starts with a mysterious bassline that comes literally from “underground”. Its tone is both dark and calming which symbolizes the underground. The arpeggiated bassline creates a relaxing atmosphere for the song and catches the listener’s attention from the start. Opening the song with bass sets this song apart from the rest of the EP.

After the listener is introduced to this bassline, drums start to excite things by slowly building up. It continuously gets louder until the explosion that comes with the entrance of the guitar. By this point, you must have realized that build-up is a common factor in all songs of the EP. Unlike the other songs, the guitar just helps to create a rhythm and a dynamic for the song while the bass is creating the melodies. Then after a few repetitions, just at the right time, the song introduces the listener to another layer so that the listener would always be on their toes. The guitar bombards the listener with a fast, catchy and interesting lick.

After the relaxing song turns into an energetic one, vocals enter singing about moving on after the death of a loved one. The first thing we are introduced to is a man on the moon that watches us and wants to see us smile. However, when the drums get hotter and the chorus hits, we learn that it is not true that he is on the moon; actually it’s the opposite, he is underground. The underground motif symbolizes that he is not “in the moon” watching us, rather he is just dead and “he won’t see [us] anyway”. After he died, he didn’t go to somewhere above to watch us, he is just dead, buried. The feelings of the narrator can be felt from her passionate voice. In this sense, the name of the EP, “From the Underground”, starts to have a new meaning: moving on after a loved one.

After the chorus, the bass starts to shine even more. Spitting more incredible lines and doing them in a such a perfect order and dose that it makes the listener feel like they have been waiting for this for their entire life. Then after the bass, it is guitar’s turn to shine. Conor Reinold performs an intense guitar solo that states the feelings of the narrator which then continues with a spooky sounding keyboard solo.

As we return to the chorus, we find ourselves singing along to a song about death. I didn’t ever imagine myself doing this. But I want more. - Prog Loop

"UnHinged with The Fool's Agenda"

Angel Evans chats with The Fool's Agenda: a five-part blues and rock band from Salem, Massachusetts, comprised of close friends Rhiannon Callahan (vocals), Conor Reinold (guitar), Maddie Roth (keys, guitar), Jon Gray (bass), and Kamryn Bode (percussion). Established in 2018, they are in the process of recording their debut EP of original tracks reminiscent of the Woodstock era with a modern twist. - UnHinged

"Review: The Fool's Agenda "Swell""

Women in rock music is such an uncommon sight, but a great one. My first thought going into “Swell” by The Fool’s Agenda? Rhiannon (and yes indeed, I did say Rhiannon) is about to show us all how women can rock. If you’re interested in bands like the Runaways, or The Cranberries, even Blondie, this one's for you. The track begins with an intense build up to the guitar riff, held down by the master of headbanging, Conor and his shredding partner in crime, Kyle. The bopping drum beat mastered by Kamryn reminds me of the Runaways take on Lou Reed’s Rock N Roll; it just makes you want to rock.

Won’t stop spinning ‘till the well runs dry.

They can’t hear you when you cry.

Trip them out of mind,

Leave the world behind.

Seriously, this rocker lady named after a Fleetwood Mac song is budding with the lyricism of a true rockstar. The execution is intelligent. The lyrics imply that this isn’t a happy song, but you just want to rock out, like it’s all you’ve got left to do in this world. That bass line bumpin behind her, slapped out by Jon, is exactly that: bumpin and rockin’.

Swell, baby, swell!

Hide your thoughts away.

It’ll all be well again

By the light of day.

This chorus is CATCHY. Makes you wanna scream the words, and it makes you want to dance, which is always the best feeling finding a new favorite song to listen to. I always love a song that gets my energy and feelings out, but still leaves me feeling good in the end. This is it. The lyrics aren’t always sunshine and rainbows but the message is one that you can resonate with and can channel the energy into.

All the leaves are turning brown

Whispers whipping thoughts around.

Remember how they made you feel

It’s all a dream, it isn’t real.

Find your mirth in the bottom of it all.

Rhiannon gets right into the grit of this song’s meaning. As the song’s sole lyricist (and most of their upcoming projects), there’s no cover up; it’s all raw. Up front and looking at her, she is a sweet hearted forest nymph, but inside there’s that rock n roll spark. She’s ready to sing it and tell it like it is. It may get dirty, it may get raunchy, but she’s ready. The dudes she’s got behind her are also just as ready to be right there for her.

Digging into the bridge and focusing on the instrumentalists at hand, these guys have some major talent. The guitar solo is epic. Conor and Kyle take us away, like that true classic rock sound is supposed to during a solo, and the other two are keeping right up with them. Kam is wailing on those drums, and Jon finishes the bridge off with a little solo of his own, before breaking into another build up, and final thrust of the hook for the track.

Overall, this is easily a favorite, no question. Rhiannon (aka Raini) and the guys of The Fool’s Agenda are ready to rock the house down this summer of 2021, and this first single is only the beginning. If I’m jumping up and down now, I might be doing backflips by the time the final project is out... Whenever that is.... Be sure to listen to “Swell” by The Fool’s Agenda now, on all streaming services! - Banded PR

"An Interview With The Fool's Agenda"

The Fool's Agenda just gave us a rock opus of an album that plays out like a concept record and brings together garage rock, classic rock, and more along with lively soulful vocals that tell stories with great detail.

The Reversing the Tower album is packed to the brim with catchy melodies performed with a powerful gusto and a smooth gracefulness and with that comes swelling synths and guitars that bop to create an atmosphere all their own.

Elements of grunge and hard rock show themselves in the form of hard-hitting drums and fuzztone Sabbath riffs that are all riddled with swagger and a passionate performance.

The album changes faces and touches on a variety of rock styles and concepts as it plays on and sure as hell isn't without some killer lead guitar work all in the classic rock vein.

This record is like something that was released in the late 70's and you missed out on it until right now. The aesthetic is really nailed and although it has that feel, it also brings 90's rock in the mix and holds little back in the way of ringing all the bells of real deal rock music.

They are an arena rock band, and the album makes you want to see them live. As a matter of fact, listening to the album in its entirety makes you feel like you just watched them play a full show and it's awesome.

With such a massive release, we wanted to have a chat with the band to find out where this record came from and what may be next for them.

Here's what happened.

BuzzSlayers: Okay so let's start things off with the Reversing the Tower album. This record has a massive rock sound with all kinds of psychedelic tonalities. Where did this album come from?

Rhiannon: Reversing the Tower is an amalgamation of everything we have been as a band so far. There are tracks that we originally wrote as early back as 2018 on there with different members that have been translated to different instruments, which I think is where we get that really eclectic blend.

Kyle: This album came from five people with wildly different musical interests and approaches to writing music but equal enthusiasm for creating something new and unique to us. It's our biggest project to date and only scratches the surface of what's to come.

Jon: Heart, soul, and our instruments.

BuzzSlayers: I'm certainly hearing some different styles mixed in on this one. Who are some of your biggest musical influences?

Rhiannon: I think for me it varies. Right now, I’ve been listening to a lot of Neil Young and Aerosmith, but Robert Plant and David Bowie are both pretty constant. And I would kill to be able to wail like Ann Wilson.

Kyle: For me it's kind of a running joke that everything I play is super proggy so it's no surprise I'm into bands like Pink Floyd, Yes, Porcupine Tree, and Haken. I think if I had to pick my specific influences for my guitar playing though I would have to say a mix between David Gilmour, Eric Clapton, and Santana.

Jon: Definitely notable bands that influence me to create music would have to be Pink Floyd, Alan Parsons, and Queen. They all share a certain spectacle that attracts my musical boner, and then I guess for bass players: Geddy Lee, Pat Badger, John Paul Jones, and Mikey Way.

Kamryn: As far as drums go. Tré Cool hands down. Throw in some Dave Grohl and if I could selfishly say a hit of Travis? Then you'd get Kamryn Bode...or someone better.

BuzzSlayers: Do you do any live performances?

Rhiannon: We perform pretty frequently around Massachusetts; we have a couple coming up in February that are going to be a ton of fun! We post about our upcoming stuff on social media, so you can follow us there to find the details.

Kyle: Yes, and if you live in the Boston area you should come see us live! I think it is where you truly see the best side of the Fools.

BuzzSlayers: What kind of things inspire you guys to write?

Rhiannon: Personal events, universal concepts, and storytelling. Being able to extrapolate my personal experience into a universal experience creates this really unique sense of connection with the human experience.

Kyle: For me, it's a mix between experiences in my own life and what's going on in the world around me.

Jon: I guess the two main things that inspire me to write are major changes in my life, good or bad, and listening to big, theatrical, climactic music.

Kamryn: Emotions, experience, questions and what we think our answers are.

BuzzSlayers: What's next for you as an artist? Is there anything new in the works even now?

Rhiannon: I don’t think any of us could stop writing if we tried, so yes, there will be new stuff. But no spoilers yet!

Kyle: Well, the answer is always writing more music because it's so integral for all of our lives. As for new stuff, I'll leave you in suspense but be on the lookout. - Buzzslayers


From The Underground (October 2019)
When The Sun Shines

Black Dog Blues (Single, February 2020)

Reversing the Tower (October 2021)

  1. Swell
  2. Dream Catcher
  3. Visionary
  4. Tell Me a Lie
  5. Hero's Ballad
  6. Art Museum
  7. Moonbeam
  8. House of the Rising Sun
  9. Say it Again
  10. The Tower



The Fool's Agenda has been described as "Woodstock and grunge thrown in a blender." By combining pop-punk drums with groovy guitar solos and ethereal powerhouse vocals, the self-proclaimed Fools have no problem making a lot of noise. 

The Fool's Agenda began with a bang, with their first gig only two weeks after formation in 2019 and their first EP, From the Underground, following four months later. Their debut album, Reversing the Tower, was released in October of 2021 and quickly garnered much attention -- particularly Tell Me a Lie, the fourth track off the album. 

The Fool's Agenda is Rhiannon Raine (vocals), Kyle Erickson (guitar), Will Bemiss (guitar), Jon Gray (bass), and Kamryn Bode (percussion).

Band Members