Album Review :
Far-Less - A Toast to Bad Taste

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Artist: Far-Less
Album: A Toast to Bad Taste
Label: Tooth & Nail Records
Release Date: October 23, 2007
Review by: Eric Pettersson

Tracklist:
1. Intro
2. Toast to Bad Taste
3. I Hope that We Swim (Oceans)
4. Thin Line
5. Segue to Devil without a Clue
6. Devil without a Clue
7. It’s Not Me, It’s You
8. Segue to Gentlemen (Go to Sleep)
9. Gentlemen (Got to Sleep)
10. Keep Keep
11. Segue to So Glad
12. So Glad
13. Surprise Funeral (For the Charmed)
14. To Live
15. Forever and a Day
16. I Gave In

I’ve always said that Brandon Welch’s voice reminds me of the type that would have been in one of the great 90s alternative bands. His singing voice I mean, not all the screams of course. Oh, oh wait… the new album completely got rid of the screams? Hm. So in theory, this new album, this toast to bad taste, it should sound like an awesome 90s alt. rock record, right? Well not exactly. See, the voice is just the beginning to this band. The music backing that voice firmly plants this Far-Less in 2007 (maybe even 2008).

These songs are the type that are slightly slow, but powerful. With subtly heavy breakdowns that have you bobbing your head, there is something reminiscent of other recent releases from Brand New, Thrice, and As Cities Burn. Really, I can’t help but rock my head front and back while sitting here typing to “Devil without a Clue.” But Far-Less are not without their up-beat and catchy side, either. “It’s Not Me, It’s You” and “A Thin Line” both could end up on popular radio if popular radio decided to start playing bands that aren’t on major labels. Then there’s the pesky business of addressing those segue tracks. In reality, they may be what complete this album. At times I get lost in the record and forget that it’s separate songs. As Brandon told me in an interview earlier this year, “Yeah, we actually wanted to make it more like a Pink Floyd album, you know? We didn’t have the studio time to really get down and turn the whole album into one big song. We have always tried to make our albums flow well. I really like what we did with this one.” And I like it too. “Gentlemen (Got to Sleep)” starts out with a piano and crescendos into a massive guitar solo, maintaining a chill feel throughout, but “Keep Keep” gets intense enough to include screams at the end of the breakdown. Yet somehow A Toast to Bad Taste is utterly cohesive. Cohesive from the acoustic-driven “Forever and a Day” to the trippy “So Glad” to the dark, classic Far-Less sound of “A Surprise Funeral (For the Charmed).”

If I were the enhancer type, I’d imagine this would be a great record to get high to. But since I can’t find it within my moral limits to do so, I’m pretty lucky it also turns out to be a great record to do basically anything to, as long as I’m ready to get absorbed into mesmerizing keyboards, rocking drums, and a sound that is overall both chill and heavy, relaxing and driving. That said, I guess it’s a great record to drink a cup of coffee to. Too bad I’ve already had two cups today. I guess it would also be a great record to take a long drive to. Too bad I don’t have a car right now. Oh, I know. It’s also turned out to be a great record to write to. And to sing to. Okay, so I’ve gotten my satisfaction out of A Toast to Bad Taste for today. Now what to do about tomorrow?

9/10

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