10 January 2013

Far - At Night We Live


Reunions - a tricky beast.  Sometimes they are just nostalgia trip - please see The Pixies, Pulp & The Stone Roses for further details.  Sometimes bands try to put something else out there with various degrees of success - please see Alice In Chains, Smashing Pumpkins, Guns N' Roses....ok maybe not the last one.  Far were not a band I had pegged to ever get back together, let alone release an album of new work.  Having released their pivotal work "Water & Solutions" in 1998 and split up the year afterwards it did not seem as if it was possible.  The band had gone onto other things - singer Jonah Matranga had been busy with onlinedrawing, New End Originals, Gratitude and solo work, Shaun Lopez had went onto The Revolution Smile, bass player John Gutenburger had played with Two Sheds, whilst drummer Chris Robyn had kept a low profile only filling in on drums for Will Haven for a few shows.

When this came out I was a little bit on edge with excitement/nerves - what if it was not as good as my mind was hoping for (a fatal emotion in me), what if it was more than I could hope for?  Lots of what if's but nothing is was ever going to be cleared if it was not played.  Musically it is a very similar in ground to some of Mr Matranga's later projects (personally I can see a lot of Gratitude in this), without being a fashion statement, it is very heavy on the emotional rock peddle - and this is a good thing.  Far were one of the fore bearers of that movement before it was a haircut and eyeliner - if they care to admit it or not is a different story, but they were always very good at it.

With this album, it felt that they had actually raised the bar to higher than it had ever been before.  They had improved on all their work before hand.  "Deafing" is an opening statement that just begs to be played at very loud volumes, "Give Me A Reason" is wanting to understand why someone who has came back what has made them turn up, "Pony" (or Hot Little Pony as it is sometimes know" is a fun cover which was released as a single before the release of this album and is ...ahem, sort of kinky. The stand out moment for me is "Better Surrender" which builds up with it's simple drums and guitars coming in and out, actually if I'm honest the whole album is just a joy.

Again, I am at the moment where I would try to even up the praise, give some critical comment to make up for my fan boy gushings.  But the only one I have is this - they split up again.  Why they have split up, I have no really inner knowledge but according to wikipedia it is down to the classic - too many issues, drama, yada yada yada.  Which is such a shame as they seemed to have gotten everything together on this one, and it could have been a platform to other things.  But it does not detract from the fact that they have left with an amazing final album (if it is the final one). He is hoping they get back together in another 12 year.

10 out of ten - This is proof that there is a God

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