Farewell Continental

¡Hey, Hey Pioneers!

Written by: TL on 19/06/2011 16:59:03

While some Motion City Soundtrack fans may indeed know this already, others may be awaiting the band's fifth album ignorant of the fact that frontman Justin Pierre has actually recorded a an album with his side-project Farewell Continental, which is definitely worth checking out if you like MCS' music. Of course, you'd be forgiven for not noticing, at least during this band's early stages, where its members consequently hid under pseudonyms lifted from Harrison Ford movies, effectively making the line-up: Richard Kimble ("The Fugitive"), Allie Fox ("The Mosquito Coast"), Rick Deckard ("Blade Runner"), Jack Ryan ("Patriot Games" etc.) and Norman Spencer ("What Lies Beneath"). Some casual google-research reveals that Kimble is really Pierre, but other than that, I've not been able to find out more than that the others are members of smaller bands Trace The Skyline and Small Towns Burn A Little Slower.

The music presented by Farewell Continental on this first LP of theirs, titled "¡Hey, Hey Pioneers!", should also appeal to Motion City Soundtrack fans, as Pierre's influence as both a singer and songwriter does permeate the record. It is still noticeably different though, firstly due to half of the vocal work being provided by the woman behind the Allie Fox moniker, and secondly due to FC playfully spending most of the record experimenting with musical elements borrowed from both indie, alternative, pop and punk of the 90's.

The 90's influence is acknowledged by the band as well, with "Radio, Radio, Are You Getting This?" opening with with a radio speaker introducing the song, and explaining how she dislikes the band for doing something that's been done a million times before ("Hello, 1996 called, it wants its sound back"). That song is the highlight of the middle songs on the album, coming up a while after a strong opening trio in "Seasoned Veterans", "Capybara" and "Who's The Boss". The former two are examples of Farewell Continental at their poppiest and also catchiest, and in my opinion, also at their best. Not that I'd exactly call it a downer, listening to the tracks that fall in between, as they are still equally enjoyable, even if less engaging.

That type of songs inhabits the space between said opening trio and "Radio, Radio", as well as the space coming after it and before the couplet of closing highlights in "The Reflecting Skin" and "Tiger Claw", the latter of which sounds delightfully like Pavement. I'd argue that "¡Hey, Hey Pioneers!" could probably have been a more potent album, if Farewell Continental had cut the number of songs down from a long-ish fourteen, leaving less space between the best cuts, but then the band is a side-project, and are probably more interested in just getting their ideas heard, than in making it to any album of the year lists. And with that in mind, it's hard to say that is anything but as much a success for the band, as it is a curious and enjoyable listen for the fans. Especially for those awaiting another MCS album.

Download: Season Veterans; Radio, Radio, Are You Getting This?; Capybara; The Reflecting Skin,
For The Fans Of: Motion City Soundtrack, Jimmy Eat World, Paper The Operator, Lemuria,
Listen: soundcloud.com/farewell-continental

Release Date 10.05.2011
Paper+Plastick Records

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