If you have not followed the situation closely, you might be more than a little confused about the infamous Further Seems Forever. In fact, some might pass their latest disc Hide Nothing on the rack and be caught off guard. Didn't these guys break up?
For those in the haze, here is a quick recap. 2000, Further Seems Forever releases their debut The Moon Is Down with Chris Carrabba as vocalist. It was, indeed, one of the best CDs of the year, and stood out as one of the better Tooth & Nail records of all time. It might seem a bit extreme, but this was one amazing disc. It wasn't all good though; Shortly before The Moon Is Down was released, Carrabba left the band and started the now highly-lauded Dashboard Confessional.
Futher Seems Forever needed a quick replacement. Enter Jason Gleason. His voice was, indeed, quite similar to Carrabba's raw, emotional voice. In fact, when I picked up the bands second release, 2002's How to Start a Fire, I was completely unaware that the voice I was hearing was different. So after a scare, things were looking up for Further.
But then it happened again. Gleason decided to part ways with the band. That's when the talk began. Was Further Seems Forever breaking up? All evidence pointed to an emphatic "yes." It wasn't until they received many a desperate fan email that they decided to keep going. This time, they chose a voice that sounded different. There won't be any confusion this time.
His name is Jon Bunch, and his voice is unique. Carrabba and Gleason's vocals are of the past now. Bunch's voice is much more melodic and ambient. Perhaps not with the emotion that Carrabba possessed, but the power is there. And with that said, on to the review.
Hide Nothing is the third album in a storied career of talented music makers. It begins with the moving "Light Up Ahead," a song about redemption. Further's emo/rock sound has never sounded better, and Bunch's voice, the third one to have done so, plays perfectly on top of it. The chorus is modest, but incredibly powerful. Bunch simply sings There's a light up ahead repeatedly. His voice draws you in all throughout the duration of the disc.
Each track is another journey. The title track demands that we all live life to the fullest; learning, and making mistakes along the way to become stronger. On "Already Gone," Bunch pleads for a "fading" person to come back to the light. On "Make It a Part," he demands "There's so much worth living for. Make it a part of you and me." And "Call on the Life" proclaims "I'm not living for the past. I'm not living for the memories. There's no use in looking back when there's nothing there to see."
For the most part, this is a mellow, yet sonic, disc. But things do pick up on occasion. The best example would be "Like Someone You Know." The drums kick in at the start, and on cue, Bunch jumps in with an almost scream. The track never loses its pace, and again shows the power of Hide Nothing.
To be anyway pessimistic about this disc would be a stretch. Like both albums before it, Hide Nothing is most definitely a highlight of the year. So hand it to Jon Bunch, the replacement's replacement, for jumping on board and doing a superb job. To call this record better than something as revered as The Moon is Down would be foolish, but, post-Carrabba, this is about as good as it gets.- Review date: 09/02/04, written by Josh Taylor
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