By: Emily Zemler
Listening to Thomas Erak’s fingers fly across his guitar in rapid, layered rhythms on the Fall of Troy’s second album, Doppelganger, one would never assume that those same hands are not legally allowed to hold a beer. Erak’s skills belie his age (20) and his experience level (he’s only played for five years) but his pedigree speaks for itself: His father played as a session musician with ’70s bands like the Allman Brothers and the Eagles. With those deep rock roots, Erak was teaching himself drums as a precocious two-year-old, and now he’s applying that rhythmic flair to guitar. Alongside equally young and equally quick drummer Andrew Forsman and bassist Tim Ward, Erak tears through frantic but hooky songs with bizarre titles like “We Better Learn to Hotwire a Uterus” and “Whacko Jacko Steals the Elephant Man’s Bones” on Doppelganger.
On stage, the Mukilteo, Wash.-based trio allows the songs more room to breathe, drifting into extended jams like the Mars Volta, as Forsman’s translucent drums light up in time to his beats. Based on Erak’s hoarse screeches, it would be easy to rank the Fall of Troy in the legion of hardcore bands their label, Equal Vision, has been signing, but the Fall of Troy’s instrumentals possess an experimental urgency possessed by few of their peers.
The Fall of Troy is best appreciated live, but unless you live in Europe, where the threesome is currently touring with the Bled, you will have to wait until early next year. And by then, the boys should be a bit closer to washing down their rock’n’roll with a cold bottle of suds.