HOW TO START A FIRE
Available from 13th October, 2003.
The US rockers release their second album, which features a
new vocalist in the guise of Jason Gleason, who stepped into the
shoes of what was regarded by some as the irreplaceable Chris Carrabba.
The results go to show that nobody is irreplaceable and that often changes
actually workout for the better.
Creating a very easy going melodic mix of rock with just the right amount of pop notes to carry a wider appeal, the band are often billed as emo but are far nearer to mainstream melodic indie rock as all but the odd exception they lack the bite associated with a pucker emo sound. There is plenty of variety to be found on the album with songs ranging from delicate acoustics to more upbeat vitriolic statements, but the high level of musicianship and attention to detail, as well as the excellent and emotionally precise vocal delivery is constant throughout.
“A Blank Page Empire” is a very laid back and gentle song with conventional soft rock vibes, which is melodic but with just the hint of a raw edge. “I Am” is equally thoughtful and poignant, creating a splendid atmosphere. Then there’s “How To Start A Fire” which is far more energetic and at times reminiscent of the Manic Street Preachers and “Aurora Borealis (In Long Form)” that could almost be Coldplay with psychedelics. “Against My Better Judgment” shows a little angst and is as near to a modern punk sound as they get and then “On Legendary” carves a luxurious thick, layered sound using acoustics, piano and strings to great effect.
Occasionally treading a fine line between magically melodic AOR songs and contrived blandness, on balance Further Seems Forever manage to pull it off but it does require repeated listens before it becomes convincing. This will probably appeal more to the traditional soft rock fan than a lover of emo, but if you dispense with the labels you’ll realise that there’s some fine music to be found and eventually savoured.
- Rigsby (8th