It’s been twelve years since Far have released an album. TWELVE YEARS! That’s like friggin’ ages! Has the time paid off? Or are the band Far over the hill? At Night We Live is their latest record, and it goes a little like this…
The album opens with the track Deafening a track very reminiscent of a long gone Nu-Metal age. It’s still Far, but there seems to be something missing, not the best choice for an opener as the album gets much better along the way. It has to be said though, Jonah’s vocals on this track are not only up to scratch, but pushing the boundaries of his vocal range, which seems to be the theme for every new record he features on. Not a terrible track in any sense, just not the best to listen to after waiting over a decade.
If You Cared Enough is more like the Far that is known and loved, so much so the song starts with a riff that sounds a lot like a sped up version of Man Overboard taken from their 1998 release Water & Solutions. As the chorus kicks in, the song seems to take a form similar to that of the band Gratitude a short lived act that was fronted by Matranga.
When I Could See is a much darker track, using a weird ambience to create an atmosphere that makes the listener almost feel hypnotised, light drums, mellow vocals, soothing bass and even an acoustic guitar section makes up this hauntingly relaxed track, it has a little heavy section too, ya know, for funsies.
Back to the Gratitude style on the next track. Give Me A Reason is the fourth track and a real summer song. A homage to the Robert Plant track, In the Mood, It’s perky, upbeat, and features the cheeky Matranga attitude we have seen more in his solo work and various other projects. At only four tracks in, it’s pretty obvious that the Far boys had a whole lot of fun writing and recording this record.
Dear Enemy is a very peculiar track, it kind of reminds me of U.K alternative rock band Reuben but at the same time, holding entirely it’s own style. It has an awesome riff throughout the verses and a big ass open chorus, what more could you asks for, a hard hitting break down? It’s got one of them too. Perfect.
When the word fight is used in a song title, I generally expect a certain type of song, and frankly, Fight Song # 16, 233, 241 is exactly that. It’s hard hitting, fast paced and draws heavily on any punk rock roots the band Far have whilst keeping the upbeat mood seen throughout this release.
Once again it seems Far have taken a very Gratitude style writing style on this record. After the high energy of the previous track, it’s time to wind down with the title track At Night We Live, a slow temp love song with the distorted guitar sound traded for clean guitar sounds and ambient keys. An almighty sound never the less.
After a quick breather it’s back with some hard, fast, punk tinged rock. Burns is a track the takes your it’s dick out and slaps you in the face, I have not been this uplifted by Jonah’s vocals since the Onelinedrawing song We Had A Deal.
Better Surrender blasts into head banging drum beat, and keeps in touch with the albums bouncy sound, though this track does is a little tougher then some of the previous, no doubt it’ll be a live favourite, with Matranga’s vocals showing he still has the gravelly tone from their earlier work such as Tin Cans With Strings To You.
They’re must have been a lot of idea’s left in Jonah’s brain after the Gratitude split, Are You Sure? is right up the alley of any fans who feel that single L.P just wasn’t enough. Actually it’s that good, I’m going to listen to it again and probably a third time! Far really have saved the best until (almost) last. Definitely my favourite on the record. “But are you suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuure! This is what you wanted!”
The album officially ends with The Ghost That Kept On Haunting a bizarrely macabre track, with a very cold and electronic feel, it keeps the ambient feel seen on some of the previous tracks, but turns the mood from a warm cosiness to a sound that feels like an iced over thermometer in the butt.
The songs on this album, though reminiscent of previous works by members of the band have no problem confirming their uniqueness with intricate vocal patterns, gritty riffs, pounding bass line and hard hitting drum beats, this, combined with a super slick production value make At Night We Live worth that 8 million year wait.
There is also Pony, Far’s rendition of the classic Ginuwine track as a bonus, which is big fun.