Though it is hard to dismiss US rock band Farewell, My Love as just another teen fad, even when their emergence is drawing an eagerly attentive and rapidly growing fanbase from a seemingly young teen element you cannot help sensing that they will be just as hungrily derided. The band’s debut album Gold Tattoos equally gives evidence and support to that assumption in many ways but also suggests that they are much more than just a blaze of style. The Arizona quintet look set to have a love or hate relationship with media and music lovers, much like one of their biggest influences My Chemical Romance. Whether they override the animosity bred towards them like the band they definitely sound like and certainly rip the primes essences from on their debut, time will tell but it is fair to say that there is much more substance and depth to Farewell, My Love than you would suspect from their look alone. When the Phoenix band hits full stride and potency on the twelve-track romp they easily and infectiously steal attention and a keen appetite for their presence, though sadly it is not an appeal and strength which is sustained throughout the whole release. Honesty declares that we have to admit that early MCR found a soft spot to exploit in our passions here and just occasionally Gold Tattoos and band threaten to reap that same appreciative well too.
Consisting of vocalist Ryan Howell, guitarists Röbby Creasey and Logan Thayer, bassist Charlee Conley, and drummer Chad Kowal, Farewell, My Love first sparked rich focus their way with the A Dance You Won’t Forget EP in 2011. With its bulging choruses and anthemic potency, the release was soon soaking up eagerness and praise from newly drawn fans. Comparisons to the likes of Avenged Sevenfold, AFI, 30 Seconds to Mars as well of course as MCR were latched upon the band’s sound something Gold Tattoos only accentuates. It is fair to say that the Don Debiase (Modern Day Escape, Beneath the Sky, For All Those Sleeping) produced album is not rippling with startling originality but again like the songs individually, the Standby Records released encounter has something about it which is hungrily refreshing and hard to turn away from.
Afraid Of The Dark opens things up, a resonating heartbeat haunting the atmosphere before fiery guitar sonics burst out to lead rampaging grooves and rampant beats into a welcome seizure of the ears. That MCR influence is an open contagion from the first full stride of the song, even vocally Howell sounds like he is laying homage to Gerard Way in his tone and delivery. The song though is an intriguing and addiction inflicting stomp, sonic bursts and melodic endeavour keeping things unpredictable if still familiar across the thoroughly engaging track. There is a drama and theatrical vivacity to the song too, if at times laid on almost too thickly, which adds something richer to its invitation to remain in control of already magnetised emotions.
The strong start is followed by the equally enticing My Perfect Thing, the song more reserved compared to the first but still lively and similarly littered with hooks and rich harmonies across an inventive body. That ‘ingenuity’ though comes with a rich dressing of recognisable adventure which defuses the undeniable craft and hunger of the band to excite and entertain. Nevertheless the track keeps attention enthused before firstly Faceless Frames toys with and then Mirror, Mirror inflames the passions. The first of the two pumps sinew built rhythms through the ear with rousing hooks as anthemic bait wantonly seduces the imagination whilst the second lights the touch paper to a pop punk voraciousness, the rapacious drive of the song irresistible as it leads the listener into a virulently contagious chorus. If MCR at their epidemic best was a lure for you than this song is the next best thing, a treat which suggests the band can possibly be something special if they find their distinct presence.
From here on in the release ebbs and flows, or more deflates with fitful returns to earlier heights. Certainly the likes of Rewind The Play and Skip The Memories provide imaginative attempts to persuade but seem content to drift into a more formulaic design lacking incendiary grooves and the depth of riotous exploit which made the first third of the album as impressive as it was. The songs though do tease with swipes of sonic drama and nibbling hooks from time to time to keep you hanging on just in case, though ultimately they disappoint with Friends & Fiends another example, it an agreeable song with fine electronic colour but unable to lift the spirits and appetite for their attempts.
The keys driven ballad Paper Forts is an elegant figure of a song with great vocals but again finds no purchase with thoughts and emotions, its boy band breath off-putting at times. Its failure though is soon forgotten once Angels unveils its eloquent pop fuelled suasion. It is not a song to challenge earlier triumphs but has that something special with stroking orchestral bred synths helping to make it a lingering impact. Neither the title track nor the closing The Queen Of Hearts stoke up the fires either but as with all songs there is quality and undeniable promise about them to keep you interested if uninspired.
If someone like My Chemical Romance is a passion then Farewell, My Love is an investigation definitely needed to be made though of course if they are not then look elsewhere for your new adventure. As an EP and just made up of the first quartet of tracks, Gold Tattoos would certainly have had us enthusing much more about band and release but as a full length confrontation it relinquishes that early capture of the passions quite easily as it progresses to provide very decent but underwhelming company. It is hard not to have a mixed view about the album but easy to admit it does offer more than enough to suggest that if not now, ahead they could become one of those naughty secrets that we all have in our playlists.
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