Tuesday, March 28, 2006

i know this won't find you well

Further Seems Forever
"Hope This Finds You Well"
(Tooth & Nail)

First of all, Further Seems Forever didn't really have any "hits." At least not in the conventional sense. It's not like the Limp Bizkit mania of '99, where people were camping outside of Tower Records to purchase their copies of the new record. With that in mind, it's always sort of mind-boggling when Tooth & Nail releases these "Greatest Hits" packages when none of their artists have really been Top 40 bands with bonafide hits.

Instead, we're given a slapdashed attempt to cash in on the Further Seems Forever name one last time in lieu of their demise. The first three songs on the release -- "The Moon is Down," "Pride War," and "Hide Nothing" -- pretty much sums up the seven year span of the band: musically consistant, yet often without a steady voice. It's been no secret that Further Seems Forever often struggled with keeping their singers and it shows all over "Hope This Finds You Well."

This really should've been labeled "The Best of Chris Carabba and Jason Gleason," as much of the compilation is culled from the first two FSF albums. There's hints of Jon Bunch, but not enough to make it seem like he had as much impact on the band as their first two singers. A pre-Dashboard Carabba introduced the band, while Gleason damn well defined it.

Anybody who is a remote fan probably owns "The Moon is Down" and "How to Start a Fire," but I still wouldn't recommend this for anybody who is without the albums. This is a pretty weak collection of songs and one of the great aspects about listening to a Further Seems Forever album is that you can listen to it from start to finish without skipping tracks. Sure, there are songs that are better than others, but it's pretty rare in their genre that you get full-lengths that don't have much in the way of filler.

The only saving grace that the record has is the final Jason Gleason song, "There, I've Said It." It has a pretty unique balancing act of showcasing how aggressive Further Seems Forever could get, but the complitative nature of the band holds it back. But you could probably download it on iTunes. The other b-sides are bland cover songs and a track from their early split with Recess Theory.

It's unfortunate that Further Seems Forever was never really able to keep it together and I suspect that had they made another album with Jon Bunch, they'd probably would've been able to achieve all the success -- musical and otherwise -- that had eluded them for years. Equally unfortunate is that their swan song is inferior to the potential legacy that the band had, yet fitting to how they'll be remembered, musically consistant, but constantly struggling.


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