A Toast To Bad Taste

Written by: DY on 13/02/2008 17:04:12

Never judge a book by its cover. Similarly, never judge an album by its cover, especially not Far-Less\' third full length \"A Toast To Bad Taste\". Once glance at the cover and your mind may begin to shift towards the pessimistic...but wait, restrain your assumptions and prepare for a pleasant surprise. Fortunately, the experience you\'ll get from listening to the 16 tracks that make up this record is significantly more enjoyable than that of looking at a rotten apple. Not impressed yet? Fair enough, but read on and I\'ll give you reason not to cast this into the trash with your old fruit.

After a brief intro track where \'the toast is proposed\', the album launches with it\'s energetic title track and instantly gives you a flavour of what\'s in store. To get you at least in the ballpark, we\'re dealing with emotional rock, comparable with Emery. Todd Turner\'s prominent drumming in the palm muted verse will have you toe tapping before the massive chorus explodes with Brandon Welch\'s passionate bellows of \"I can speak for myself\" dominating the air space. Huge choruses are what Far-Less graduated in and \"I Hope We Swim (Oceans)\" follows suit, mixing in some spiraling electronic synth effects too.

The transition between songs is clearly something the band have paid attention to, utilising different methods of moving through the album. The next song \"A Thin Line\" (reminiscent of Spitalfield) begins before its predecessing song is even finished, but it\'s perfectly executed and makes for a smooth shift. There are three \'Segues\' used across the album to introduce songs and unlike interludes which sometimes interrupt the flow of an album, these instead serve to bind the album together.

Brandon Welch\'s vocals performance across the album is deserving of the widespread recognition he is receiving from reviews across the net. Welch shows his versatility with well executed falsetto vocals in \"Gentlemen (Go To Sleep)\" and with most of the album delivered with a clean voice he can\'t resist occasionally breaking into a scream in \"Keep Keep\". \"A Surprise Funeral (For The Charmed)\" introduce us to both the band\'s more mellow side and their ability to intertwine styles so seamlessly as between the slow keyboard backed soft words of \"we all belong down here, we all belong\" we are thrown back into a pit of distorted guitars without it feeling wrong.

\"A Toast To Bad Taste\" comprises tight guitar playing, exciting riffs and epic choruses. Both solid and entertaining, Turner does a fantastic job on the skins. Compositional insight and talented musicianship allow the band utilise keyboards, synth and violins to add new dimensions to their songs. The token acoustic track \"Forever And A Day\" is heartfelt, but not cheezy, and earns its inclusion. Closing track \"I Gave In\" brings the albums down to a soft landing, a rare guitar solo preluding the repeating words \"What is valuable to you? What is meaningful to you?\" over light marching drums, which fade out to finish. The band has managed to encapsulate energy in both its blatant and subtle forms through the course of the album, from soaring highs and rampant guitars to the quieter, mellow passages. Overall, it\'s a solid collection of tracks which demonstrate that strong, powerful and passionate music doesn\'t always have to be aggressive. Unfortunately, despite all its positive traits, it\'s still lacking that certain something that\'ll have me craving it over and over again. Maybe they are restricted by their genre, but it\'s not quite sharp enough to have the lasting effect it needs to make regular listening and thus it only reaches


Download: A Toast To Bad Taste, Devil Without A Clue, It\'s Not Me, It\'s You
For The Fans Of: Emery, Dead Poetic, Spitalfield
Listen: Myspace
Buy: iTunes

Release Date 23.10.2007
Tooth & Nail Records

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