Review Summary: They sure sound like a whole bunch of bands out there. But they openly state their influences and play what they say as “genuinely honest” music. And when you hear these songs, you’ll notice how diverse, strong, and (yes) honest it is.
If you read the bio on Far-less's myspace. You'll see them tag-line themselves as a "indie band." You gotta chuckle at the term, because was it just about a year and a half before this release, they released their "debut" (they call it debut idk since their first is Broken Hearts Unite) album Everyone is Out To Get Us. Straight up, it’s a hardcore album that rips and roars with random twists, thus creating an unique sound in the process. It was a shattering album that is was easily an underrated album in the hardcore "scene" and even with the label. The complex guitar work with beat down drum beats over smooth vocals with sneaky lyrics made for an interesting and intense listen.
Now, this new Far-less Album: A Toast To Bad Taste. There’s no screaming, the songs are not as heavy (more so rock, rather than hardcore), the songs are dark and are serious, and....there’s much more piano/synths. The album is in with the "indie" scene. I do listen to music of that sort, but hearing Far-less with the new sound made me hesitant at first. Flat out, I wasn't use to it. But, I decided to give it a few more listens before a final judgment.
So, alas I did and.....to say it so Far-less created another masterpiece and have expanded the horizons on their sound. It sounds nothing like them, but it does also. Throughout the monstrous 50 minute length Far-less go in and out of different styles progressively and succeed/go beyond the standards.
The album kicks open with the title track “A Toast To Bad Taste.” It’s probably the closest sounding track to their older sound. Right from the start the song will suck you in with the melodic guitar lead and beat down rhythm section. Then, right into the verse the sound dries out to a single guitar, and a ghoulish (But cool) synth choir-thing, only to go back into a swindling sound that breaks out in the chorus again. Oceans, is a slower song but it builds on the progressive sound from the title track. Far-less at times go into a jazzy swing feel with “Devil Without A Clue” and “So glad.” “Gentlemen (Go To Sleep)” and the acoustic “Forever And A Day” showcase Far-less at their softest.
The album includes an intro and a few segues, they fit really well into album, and help create transitions from some songs to another. To be honest, I felt that without the segues the transitions would feel weird. When you go from the radio-like “It’s not me, it’s you” to the slow trippy ballad “Gentlemen (go to sleep)” you’ll notice quite the difference in the tracks, the segues help create a new mood for the listener to help them get into the follow-up song.
Not only Far-less “mature” with their sound but with the lyrics as well. The lyrics are dark, serious, and much more heart wrenching than anything they’ve done (and potentially to many of the artists that surround them.) Gone are the hardcore screams (aside from a few moments in “Keep Keep”) and silly lyrics from EIOTGU. The songs are more directed towards love, life, and a more serious introspection.
Musically, the band soars with the sound. And Brandon Welch stretches his vocals to higher and lower ranges, giving his best performance yet. The key player here is Elizabeth “Bitsy” Pina, who gives the band new life with her keyboard playing. Most of the tracks are juiced up with her piano skills and at times oddball synths. Gentlemen (Go To Sleep) showcases her talent and is easily the most heart-wrenching song by the band to date. Her play-on with arpeggios in songs such as “Oceans” and the grand closer “I Gave In.” sit well on top of the explosive sound. Also check out A Surprise Funeral near the bridge, Pina’s twinkle bell sit hauntingly over the soft drum patterns and then follows when the sound explodes again.
They sure sound like a whole bunch of bands out there. But they openly state their influences and play what they say as “genuinely honest” music. And when you hear these songs, you’ll notice how diverse, strong, and (yes) honest it is.