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6 out of 10
"We live for this and live to be on the road. It’s seriously all we think about. We’ve played to one person before. We’ve played to several thousand people before. We’ve slept in countless parking lots and on strangers’ floors. And we love it more than ever." - Farewell Flight
Farewell Flight are "an amazing Indie band" from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania who have just released a record titled 'Sound.Color.Motion'. The band formed in September 2005 initially comprising of lead singer and guitarist Luke Foley, drummer Marc Prokopchak, and bassist Robbe Reddinger who were later joined by guitarist Timmy Moslener. The press release compares them to Death Cab for Cutie, Nada Surf, Elliott Smith, and Coldplay and reports that in 3 years they have completed 18 tours of the USA covering 31 different states, all self managed, self financed, self booked, whilst having recorded and released three EPs. 'Sound.Colour.Motion' , their first full length LP, was recorded In 2007, at Sputnik Studios, Nashville, with Grammy-winning producer Mitch Dane and has been available since August ,2008,
The band lay claim to some serious dirt under-the-finger-nails D-I-Y credentials: working a plethora of shitty jobs to pay their bills and finance their tours which last up to 7 months with no tour support, booking, or management. They sleep in parking lots; restring their guitars instead of eating properly, always in anticipation of the next gig, next EP and next floor they will sleep on. Therefore this record is a reputedly an art which the band have quite literally starved for.
The opening track "Lullabye for Insomniacs" starts out as a slow gentle acoustic number, where you can hear fingers moving across the guitar strings as the vocals drift slowly over the top with a sound akin to Death Cab For Cutie, in a slow and melancholy almost folky kind of way, eventually building to glittery guitar riffs and soaring harmonies. "Widower" starts in a more experimental fashion, reminiscent of 'One Hot Minute' era Red Hot Chili Peppers, with vocals periodically being treated with a vocoder, backed by almost Radioheadesque riffs which float around before breaking into a gentle yet upbeat chorus back by picked guitar riffs. As listenable as they are the first two tracks do not really seem to speak of a life on the road, where as "Over" starts with bleepy synthesizers and moody guitar riffs, more akin to Postal Service, with steady drum beat and brooding vocals, sounding more like a journey down a highway shrouded in darkness, with dark feelings moving around unseen in the abyss while painfully high pitched bleeps and ringing notes lead into another rolling chorus. "Indianapolis" starts with a drum machine beat and synth line, before being joined by drums, tight vocal harmonies and picked riffs, sounding once more akin to the Postal Service, though it trips into a sequence of more upbeat breaks reminiscent of The Strokes more sedate numbers. A fair amount of good production goes on throughout the record, although it sometimes puts too much of sheen on things. "Phones" unfortunately sounds like a Coldplay record and not in a good way. "Sailors Mouth" has a nice riff and an inordinate amount of post production, it hits into nice, bouncing arty Pop Rock that could be straight off a Modest Mouse record, featuring really great lyrics, morose violin and vocoded backing vocals that sound like the Bolshevik chorus straight off of Bowie's "Velvet Goldmine", before finally breaking into a drunken sailor's chant. "Begin Again" is more piano driven affair with a driving drum beats and sounds somewhat like "The Killers", more fast paced and potential dance floor fodder.
"America" is another folksy meander albeit with a solid drum beat and jangley riffs, summery lyrics which are at the same time a somewhat ironic political commentary,
"There's a war on,
With our cheque books drawn,
America will surely break your heart"
"Cruel" starts with a solid beat and more moody riffs, verging into the imaginary genre of Dawson's Creekcore. "The Usual Vernacular" starts like a track by Death From Above 1979 with an angry buzzy bass line and hard drum beats before being joined by more Modest Mousesesque riffs, though the energy is somewhat lost by the time the chorus arrives, though some spooky guitar work keeps things interesting. The final track "Slow" ironically starts with quite a fast drum beat before being joined by harmonies and riffs that sound stalled somewhere between Modest Mouse and Coldplay
While Farewell Flight can lay claim to some pretty hardcore credentials it does not necessarily come across like that on record; rather than sounding like an old school DIY Punk group, they sound like, well, what their press release suggests them to sound like, Coldplay and a bunch of other Indie Pop groups. Their music is good and listenable but it is only their lifestyle and dedication that really sets them apart from any of their contemporaries.
1. Lullabye for Insomniacs
6. Sailors Mouth
7. Begin Again
10. The Usual Vernacular