Forgive Durden
Wonderland


4.5
superb

Review

by Kif USER (11 Reviews)
June 14th, 2006 | 13 replies | 7,051 views


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist


3 of 3 thought this review was well written

Welcome to a world of lies, lust and death. Welcome to a world where talent gets you only so far, and your own natural greed will get you much further. Ladies and gentlemen; Welcome to Wonderland.

Yes, Forgive Durden's debut album is very abitious, something that matches the theme of this record very well. While many up and coming bands have released their own debut albums with very common themes within songs, sugar-coated in snappy one-liners and metaphors fit for a 90's sitcom, the foursome from Seattle (The same city as similar-sounding veterans Gatsby's American Dream) have gone for a daring concept album based around the life of a man trapped in the business world of the 21st century, struggling to deal with how work is handled under the table and temptations of the career he has ended up in. But Forgive Durden's impressive fanbase for another Purevolume band hasn't just come from their smart and innovative writing, but much more from their ability to truely mix up styles and musicianship in their songs. The switch from the pulsing bassline and over-distorted and energetic opener "Ants" to a much slower yet equally powerful "Ear To Ear", which makes great use of a horn-section and tempo change, is impressive for 3 songs. There are a true variety of instruments included on this album; bongos, keyboards, banjos, horns, mandalins. You name it, Forgive Durden have probably used it.

It's not just this though, but it's the way they can make these instruments unique. "Il Tango Della Signora Francesco di Bartolommeo di Zanobi del Giocondo" is one of my favourite tracks on this album, because of it's flamenco-tango hybrid with their dark guitar sounds and the way you never know what's coming next. This band rarely uses power chord melodies like many do today, and prefer to mix up chords with sharp and quick attacks of high-pitched licks. For a band signed to Fueled By Ramen, notorious for jumping on trends and signing very basic groups, Forgive Durden certainly do stand out. There are many similarities to bands in the current scene at the moment. Gatsby's American Dream, Boys Night Out, Circa Survive and even Brand New all feel like they could have leant a helping hand on this album. As well as the louder and much more pop-punk based songs, there's a lot of balladesque and acoustic style as well. "Parable Of The Sower" beings with clean guitar chords and quickly gets into a song laced with a picked banjo, rolling snare drums and those guitar chords again. Only it doesn't stop there. With little over a minute to go of the same song, it builds up into a hastey swinging anthem for dance clubs, only to fall back into a much, much slower gang cheer of happy voices and quiet backing music.

It does have it's setbacks, but they are very limited thanks to the album's diversity in styles and use of instruments. The lyrics aren't as memorable as pioneers Gatsby's American Dream, but do hold a sense of intelligence within them. It does take a few listens to dig deep and find out what the story of this album really is, and yet more to understand the characters. As well as that, some slower songs are placed in weird places for the average listener, and although they are fitting to the concept of the album, it can make it hard to listen to this as background music. This album requires the listener to focus if they want to get the most out of Wonderland. That's not without saying that you can just throw this on if you are in the mood for some great and quite original pop-punk (I use that term lightly, since this album shows a range of genre styles. It just centres around a pop-punk band). As well as this, the end of the album dies out very fast and is hard to listen to after such chirpy and energetic tracks like "The Great Affair Is To Move" and "For A Dreamer, Night's The Only Time Of Day".

This truely is one of the best albums of the year for me. The lengths Forgive Durden have goen with their storytelling is massive, and almost makes me jealous that I couldn't come up with something similar. The themes of songs aren't too poppy for today's standards, but include enough to gain new listener's recognition, and the styles on this album are just beautifully crafted. Wonderland is in a league of it's own as far as albums fo this year, and I'm sure within years Forgive Durden will improve on this. It sounds very clear and nicely produced, and the structure of songs is great as well. Do yourself a favour and listen to this band. You are missing out if you don't.


Favourite tracks
"Ants"
"Beware The Jubjub Bird And Shun The Fumious Bandersnatch"
"Parable Of The Sower"
"Il Tango Della Signora Frencesco di Bartolommeo di Zanobi del Giocono"

Linkage:
[url]http://www.forgivedurden.com/[/url]
[url]http://www.myspace.com/forgivedurden[/url] (Tracks from review: "Il Tango Delia...", "Beware The Jubjub Bird...")



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user ratings (91)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
DepthsOfDreams555
June 14th 2006



55 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Great review, Kif. I love this album, it is amazing.

masada
June 14th 2006



2733 Comments


I like the songs I've heard.

Nath
June 16th 2006



16 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

An amazing album, one of my favourites.

The Jungler
June 17th 2006



4827 Comments


Is this band named for the movie Fight Club? They seem pretty cool.
Good review.


alib34
July 31st 2006



7 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

WOW! that was an AMAZING review I totally agree and the suggested tracks are definitely some of my favorites... I recently found this band and I'd have to say I'm lovin them. Truly an amazing album.

Abaddon2005
September 10th 2006



684 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Fantastic album, the artwork and lyrics are so cool, it has its own vibe to it.

TheShadylurker
January 6th 2008



13 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Great album one of my favorites especially for a concept type album
great idea
great mucisians
now if only their music videos weren't dumb
but thats not what music is about anyways

Great review as well
captured some of my same thoughts

Kiran
Emeritus
October 28th 2008



6001 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

These guys remind me so much of Gatsbys American Dream.

gaslightanthem
April 16th 2009



5209 Comments


album speaks to me and it says i am homo

MeatSalad
May 3rd 2010



14492 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Love this album.

HBFS
July 19th 2011



1246 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Album's pretty good

Digging: Banks - Goddess

iambandersnatch
February 20th 2012



1474 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Love this album so much. The world needs more bands like this.

iambandersnatch
February 20th 2012



1474 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

"These guys remind me so much of Gatsbys American Dream. "

They really aren't as similar as people seem to think. Their songs actually have some structure (altho
I love the chaos that is Gatsby's), and the drums and guitar are quite a bit more staccato at certain
points (at least on this cd, since Razia's is a completely diff animal), among other things.



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