It’s been four years of occasional live shows but no new releases from Edmonton expats the Famines, but the rock ’n’ roll duo—guitarist/vocalist Raymond Biesinger and drum-buster Drew Demers—seems to be heralding a return with this paper single. It comes in the form of a 20” by 30” double-sided newsprint artwork (designed by Biesinger, who, as you may know, has a way with illustration) and a download code.
In terms of distribution model, it means you get a cool thing for your wall, and a couple of new Famines songs. In terms of the music, it’s a one-two punch of sweaty rock ‘n’ roll groovers and amplifier burn-outs, falling into in fine lockstep with the spartan excellence that’s long been the Famines’ stock-in-trade. “Stay Home Club” plays with levels—Biesinger’s buzzing guitar rides a simple groove until it drops out, leaving just drums and voice before the chorus launches into a chaotic flurry— while “Who Wants Disarmament?” takes a slow-burn approach, is as much about ominous mood as groove. There’s talk of a new Famines LP sometime later this year, too; if this is a sign of what’s to come, it serves as the best kind of portent.