Music Reviews

Further Seems Forever

How to Start a Fire

Tooth And Nail

Who needs Chris Carraba? These guys really don’t. The ex-Further Seems Forever frontman, currently every teenage girl’s favorite “alternative” singer (he’s the heart of Dashboard Confessional), couldn’t have pieced together half of these songs – not because he’s not good enough, but because this album is far, far removed from what Chris is putting out these days. From the title track’s hardcore overtones to the somber post-emo body of the record and the flourishes of sheer songwriting genius (“On Legendary”), How to Start a Fire stands alone as an eclectic slice of really fucking good music, with mere hints of Carraba’s legacy on display.

This album has grown on me immeasurably since I first received it. When a band can be diverse and never derivative but still distinctive and recognizable enough to retain its own identity, I’m impressed. The production values are nothing extraordinary, but they don’t detract from the work on show to any significant degree. Besides, this release isn’t one where lush instrumentation or intricate engineering form any sort of focus – Start a Fire is an example of how well guitar, bass, drums and voice can work on their own merits. If only everyone who bought the latest Dashboard release (UnpluggedTRL junkies singing louder than Chris included) would get their hands on this…

Further Seems Forever:

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