Album Review :
Further Seems Forever - How to Start a Fire (VINYL)

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Artist: Further Seems Forever

Album: How to Start a Fire (VINYL)

Label: Broken Circles Records

Release Date: August 1, 2008

Reviewer: Eric Pettersson


  1. How to Start a Fire
  2. The Sound
  3. A Blank Page Empire
  4. Against My Better Judgment
  5. I Am
  6. Pride War
  7. On Legendary
  8. Insincerity As An Artform
  9. The Deep
  10. Aurora Borealis (in long form)

Originally released on CD by Tooth & Nail Records in 2003, How to Start a Fire remains, in my opinion, Further Seems Forever’s best work. Now before all you Chris Carrabba fans get up in arms, let me say that I also love The Moon Is Down, but I believe that just as Chris went on the bigger and arguably better things, so did FSF. This sophomore release not only showcased the strong vocals and poetic lyrics of then-newfound frontman Jason Gleason. It also featured a full band at the peak of crafting dynamic and driving emo-rock, with tight musicianship and some of their best song-writing.

Listening on vinyl really brings out those definitive Further Seems Forever guitar tones that were able to keep three albums with three different singers still sounding like they were coming from the same band. Returning seven years later to a record with five songs on each side also made me notice tracks five and ten more than I used to. “I Am” is slow and jazzy with passionate vocals and prodding drums, subtly building a crescendo throughout the entire song into a moving climax. “Aurora Borealis (in long form)” was always my least favorite, because, well, I was in middle school when this first came out, and it didn’t sound anything like the fast and energetic “The Sound” that first drew me to this band. Hearing it now, it blows me away. It’s keeping me from writing this review quickly, because I lose track of what I’m doing whenever I try to listen to it. I keep getting absorbed into the intricacies of the guitars, the twisting melodies, and the surprising use of noise.

The black record itself is thick and sturdy, though it took more than a few plays before it slid easily off and on my record player. I did not have this problem with the other three records that I am about to review from Broken Circles, so I assume this was a first try kind of problem that they have since corrected or even just a defect specific to my copy. There was no CD or download link included, which makes sense for this kind of re-issue, since most people buying it will probably already have it in one of those two forms. However, this is something I would like to see in the future as Broken Circles is now expanding beyond re-issues to release brand new albums as well.