Their second album but our introduction to UK hard rockers Fahran, the band easily gives potent reason to the busy acclaim around them with new album Chasing Hours. Made up of thirteen impressively accomplished and melodically fired tracks, the release awakens a rich intrigue for the quintet. It is not an encounter which manages to ignite a fire in the belly of passions, though it has moments where it takes them on a lustful dance, but certainly from start to finish it sparks and encourages a healthy appetite for the band’s potential and magnetically flavoursome sound.
Fahran was formed in 2012 after emerging from the ashes of Toxic Federation. It was not long before the Breaston five-piece unveiled their self-titled debut album to strong and keen responses from fans and media alike. Infusing inspirations from the likes of Queen, Iron Maiden, Shinedown, Alter Bridge, and Black Stone Cherry into their expressive hard rock sound, the band has also built an attention grabbing reputation with their live performances, which has seen them successfully play the Bloodstock and Download Festivals. Last year saw the departure of bassist Alex Stroud and vocalist Nick Whitcroft but the band swiftly bounced back recruiting Josh Ballantyne and Matt Black on bass and voice respectively, before creating the crowd funded Chasing Hours. With the pair alongside guitarists Jake Graham and Chris Byrne, and drummer JR Windsor, Fahran are poised to wrap up the attention and emotions of the nationwide rock scene with their second album, and it is hard not to imagine the band finding an intensive spotlight upon them from its release.
Chasing Hours is a refreshing treat for all hard and melodic rock fans but even if those genres generally are not the staple diet of ears the band offers plenty within the album to fire up attentive interest. Opening track Long Gone instantly flirts with the imagination through a delicious and slightly melancholic strum of guitar, its tone soon assisted by the darker breath of the bass and resonating swipes of drums. A sonic bred atmosphere rises around the masterful coaxing next to fill senses and thoughts with poetic drama and emotive suggestiveness. It is a fascinating introduction to the song which brews to a greater intensity before parting for equally enticing grooves and rhythmic enterprise to stake their claim on the passions. In no time the track is launching into a feisty and melodic striding of sound and intent which without the potency of that glorious beginning still inspires a highly satisfied and eager reaction.
Straight away the band’s songwriting craft and technical skills are open within the first song, showing a maturity and invention which belies their still young years. These qualities are right away reinforced by the next up Take This City Alive. Equipped with an eighties bred vivacity and infectiousness, the song bounces along with an absorbing weave of sonic endeavour and antagonistic rhythmic aggression. It leaps at the ears and taunts them to embrace the swing and boisterous familiarity of its body, which even with an aversion to its seed era is not easy to refuse. A Thousand Nights is one of those classically fuelled rock songs where again the band do not hide their inspirations as it flames around ears. It does not come up to the same levels of the first couple of tracks but with riveting guitar enterprise and ideation from Graham and Byrne locked within the intimidating rhythmic bait of Windsor, the track offers increasingly inviting bait within melodic rampancy.
Current single I Heard A Joke Once unloads a muscular and sonically alluring proposition with riffs a contagious beckoning across the track. It is a forceful suasion though again, for personal tastes, lacks the spark of the opening pair and many of the subsequent tracks on the album, including the following title track. A sinew sculpted slice of rock balladry with a whiff of country rock and classical seduction to its emotive narrative, Chasing Hours is a smouldering slice of enjoyment which maybe does not set emotions raging but has them simmering very nicely before making way for the boldly pleasing pair of Cased In Steel and You Could Be Mine. The first of the two finds more rugged scenery to soak in earnest vocals and melodies whilst the second is a similarly sturdy with a raw canvas of persuasion coated in evocative sonic hues and the persistently impressing vocals of Black. The song also reminds forcibly that the band really know how to cast enslaving grooves and rhythmic baiting.
As good as those songs and the highlights before them are, they are mere appetisers for the true pinnacles of the album. First up comes the brilliant Some Kind Of Family, a storming stomp of a track which from its first riotous breath also entwines ears in emotionally coloured melodies and sonic adventure to enthral and potently feed the imagination. Hooks and grooves are short yet deeply entrenching whilst Black and band find their most mesmeric vocal strength yet, all within the ever spicy and gripping rhythmic web of Windsor and Ballantyne. Its magnificence is swiftly equalled by Are We Free, a fiery rampage of scorched grooves and menacing beats all honed into a blaze of seductively bruising rock ‘n’ roll with more than an air of Black Stone Cherry and Seether to it. The bass of Ballantyne stalks with predatory instincts across the song for his finest moment but again it is the pleasingly nagging grooves and their irresistible toxicity which seal the deal with a greedy appetite.
Back To Me with its wonderful almost folkish opening suggests it is a rival to the might of the previous pair, guitars and vocals a spellbinding union. But without admittedly losing its hold on attention and satisfaction, it does slip into a more formulaic hard rock offering, though with it continually flirting with those initial lures it finds a ready welcome anytime. Prison is similar in that success, its elegant melodies and emotive hues a transfixing enticing which gives the song its tightest grip on the passions yet the powerful and climactic expulsions, where Black shows his richest delivery in the song, despite making a striking impression still lose the early hold the track had. Nevertheless it is a potent and continually growing proposition but soon left pale against the metallic enticement and melodic rock invention of the outstanding Black Mirror. Another major moment of the release, the song proves the band can merge gentle caresses with raucous intensity for an exhilarating incitement.
Completed by the highly agreeable if underwhelming Storms We Ride, the album is a persistently engaging and rigorously captivating encounter. Chasing Hours has moments where it ebbs and flows in its success, though to be fair that is as much down to personal tastes as anything, but also dramatic moments where Fahran show they have the potential to take UK hard rock to a new world awakening level. It is hard not to be excited about the future of this band.
Chasing Hours is available from Monday 11th August through all digital outlets.
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