Album Review :
The Workday Release - Farther From Familiar

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Band: The Workday Release
Title: Farther From Familiar
Label: n/a
Release Date: March 20, 2010
Review By: BMer

Track Listing:

  1. Prologue
  2. Set to Sea
  3. A Distant Shore
  4. The Descent
  5. As the Giants Fall
  6. The Conqueror
  7. Await the Sun

Farther From Familiar is the second release from The Workday Release, a four-piece alternative rock outfit from SoCal’s Biola University.  This six song album is based on the book The Dream Giver by Bruce Wilkinson, about pursuing your dreams.  Everything about the album from the booklet and artwork to the intro track and music all revolving around the journey that the main character, Ordinary, takes by boat to pursue his dreams.

I really found this album enjoyable, the music is really well done.  At first listen i am reminded of Mae with a piano-driven rock sound and clean vocals.  All of the songs sound great with pretty good production, you can hear all of the instruments with good balance and the guitars carry some weight which is also nice.  There is also quite a lot of creativity found throughout, with “A Distant Storm” the heaviest track featuring a nice little breakdown only to be countered with the return of David Ottestad’s upbeat vocals and bopping drums.  Each song is also uniquely different from the previous which keeps the listener interested whether its the calm feel of “As The Giants Fall” or the more  pace of “The Conqueror”

There is plenty of creativity on Farther From Familiar, a plethora of sounds throughout.  Most of these sounds could have been made with a keyboard but the liner notes point out that live strings were used on the album, a great choice as they came across powerful.  There are also plenty of electronic sounds as well, little beeps and click-tracks that keep the overall sound very full and somewhat light.  The lyrics are also really well done, especially on “Await the Sun” where he sings “We’re sure of what we cannot see, we push on through this wasteland, without it there’s no victory.”

OVERALL i really enjoyed Farther From Familiar,  it’s fresh and creative and none of it seems forced.  There are plenty of impressive moments that are done well and don’t come across is gimmicky.  The story of The Dream Giver plays well as a lyrical theme and provides moments of inspiration and encouragement.  The Workday Release seem to be trying to find their sound and if they keep going in this direction i’m sure they’ll find it.

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