Title: When You Come Back Home
Release Date: September 1, 2007
Review By: Scott L
01. The Way This Works
02. Every Chance
03. Between You and Me
04. For What It’s Worth
05. Don’t Look Back
06. When You Come Back Home
07. Why Are You Waiting?
I realize that this review is of material that is somewhat dated. But, I came across the CD only recently and have also been told that there is a new release in the works… so a bit of renewed attention may be good. So, if you’re sitting comfortably, we’ll begin. If you try to ignore the fact that the opening track on this 7-song EP sounds a lot like Hawk Nelson, this is actually a really good CD. Not that I have anything against pop-punk, which Fairgreen is not, I’m just personally not a big Hawk Nelson fan. However, I am a Fairgreen fan. And even though I have to admit that I liked the opening track, thankfully, the resemblance ends there.
Fairgreen is a five-piece out of Baltimore, Maryland that plays a high-end brand of indie-rock with a dash of pop-punk around the edges. While the mix was a little rough in places, it never bogged things down. The music comes across as well-crafted and sweeps you along with driving rhythms. Fairgreen would fit in well with bands such as The Dropout Year, A Day Away, or A Letter To You.
They could use a bit more maturity in their song structure. It’s not enough to know how to play your instruments well; to make it work, all of the pieces have to fit. Some of the songs tend to come across as more of polished recording of a jam session as opposed to the result of careful crafting. The title track, “When You Get Back Home”, is an example of this. You can see the potential all the way through, but it just comes out sorta jumbled. Do I still like these songs? Definitely. Just be aware that while the tracks are all enjoyable, some will seem less studio-tailored and more, “Let’s just start playing and see what happens. Somebody hit record.” I enjoyed the way the bass stood out and really carried some of the songs, such as “Don’t Look Back.” These days the bass is typically relegated to being the backbone of a song while everything else fleshes it out. But Fairgreen manages to bring the bass up and let it run with the song here and there. Full marks for that.
Lyrically, Fairgreen is pretty much what you would expect. Mostly upbeat commentary about life, love, and loss. Fairgreen’s thoughts are that “The songs that are being written by the band give a sense of hope and encouragement to the listener through their trying times. With songs that deal with such topics as relationship breakups and the passionate plea to become who we are meant to be, Fairgreen is dealing with the relevant topics of today that will reach and touch their peers. The bands desire is to not only impact the culture, but to follow the calling God has placed on their life by walking the walk and talking the talk.”
Standout track was “Between You and Me.” Another great bass driven song that was not only super catchy, but for some inexplicable reason reminded me of Dogwood. A band that I used to really dig back in the day. It’s not punk, but just steady indie-rock with that little tinge in the vocals that got me reminiscing. And it’s just an all around cool tune.
You know you’re getting way to focused on a CD when you start to wonder about nonsensical things… like why the opening, middle, and closing tracks all have two words that start with “W” in the song name. Is it coincidence? Is it a code? Do I win a prize for noticing? Some questions may be just better off unasked.
Overall: These guys are definitely worth a listen.. for more reasons than just because they play good music. “Fairgreen’s reason for being a band is not only to play music for God, but also to spread the good news of Jesus Christ through music, our own testimonies, and by the way we walk and talk. We want to be good examples to anyone who is searching for something to fill the void in their hearts.” Great music and a great heart. A great combination. So check these guys out and keep an eye open for new music coming soon.