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Despite some fashionable punk-pop and emo trappings, Southern California quintet Faulter is at heart an unapologetic pop band with clear mainstream aspirations, like some kind of chart-bound cross between Jimmy Eat World and the Killers, or perhaps a Duran Duran for the Hot Topic generation. Formed in Orange County in 2003 by high school friends Andy Carpenter (vocals, guitar), Jonathan Carpenter (keyboards, guitar), Mike Levindofske (guitar, vocals), Jarred Dooley (bass), and Richard Boutwell (drums), Faulter got an early hand up through a friend of the Carpenter family. Producer Jon Saint James was a fixture on the Los Angeles new wave scene of the early '80s, engineering punk and death rock records by the likes of the Minutemen and Christian Death on one hand and discovering synthed-out dance acts like Berlin and Stacey Q on the other. Becoming Faulter's manager as well as their producer, Saint James groomed the young band, openly supplanting their lack of studio polish with studio musicians Josh Freese (drums) and Jason Freese (keyboards), who had between them previously worked with Nine Inch Nails, Green Day, and the Goo Goo Dolls. Completing their debut album, The Darling Buds of May, at Saint James' studio, the band self-released a limited-edition version as a combination demo and calling card for other labels. Abacus Records, a primarily metalcore label distributed by EMI through their Caroline imprint, signed Faulter in 2006 and reissued The Darling Buds of May with new artwork in September of that year. ~ Stewart Mason