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CD Review: Farenheit "Disconnected"


Every once in a while all the perfect elements collide and a ground-breaking new band emerges from the ashes and the chaos. My soul bonds closest with fiercely independent vocal melodies that haunt the mind for weeks; powerful, textured guitar riffs, devoid of all fillers and cheesy solos; versatile sonic environments that are fulfilling but throw a few unexpected curves; lucid lyrics soaked in well-written metaphors and honest admissions; and a fast pace soaring through a barrage of cataclysmic emotions that are both painful and ultimately satisfying.

STRENGTHS

Melody:
Melodic hooks are the most noticeable distinction between Farenheit and other melodic-aggressive bands. Writing hits comes as easily as breathing for them, with verses that are just as enjoyable as the choruses in this dynamic compilation. You'll often find it hard to stop singing along. "When She Cries" shines with a distinctive melody that pushes onwards, foreshadowing the guitar's fret shifts, then matching pitch with them again in perfect harmony. After a trip to the studio one day, the choruses of "When She Cries" and "I Hate You" were imprinted in my mind for weeks, leaving me craving the official release like a junkie. Farenheit drives the spirit with carefully chosen notes, latching onto an addictive arrangement in the vein of a Billy Talent verse or a Foo Fighters chorus.

Versatility:
"Slander" best showcases the band's versatile talents with guitars ranging from a delicate, seductive melody to a driving roar and vocals caressing your ears with a whisper one moment, ripping through your soul with raw emotion the next. Even the drums create a textured atmosphere, allowing each part of the kit its unique moment to shine.

The vocals fluctuate among and within songs to reflect mixed emotions and one's ever-changing mental state: migrating from a bark in "You Got Nerve"; to a whisper in "Leaving You"; to straight singing in "I Hate You"; to harsh, raw yelling in "Free Your Mind"; to moments of raspy exasperation in "Disconnected".

Some of the EP songs (like "Just So You Know" and "You Got Nerve") were altered slightly to incorporate textural changes, adding depth and variety to a consistently-rocking style.

Song Structure & Organization:
The band realizes that audiences crave heavy, exhilarating guitars, yet they also see the benefits of throwing in different textures to build anticipation and add an explosive quality to the chorus in stark contrast. This key component can be found in songs like "Useless" where the blunt, staccato verse guitars juxtapose the slow-changing, Deftones-like chorus rhythms.

"When She Cries" toys with anticipation brilliantly as dark, agitated riffs surface beneath a melodic interlude. Their choice to cut the first chorus short and extend the second chorus becomes a point of suspense once you realize what they've done. Also, the soft, whispered breakdown before the third chorus builds the final release to anthemic status.

Oftentimes words are cut off or suspended, leaving the audience craving the final resolution like in "I Hate You", which houses the most extraordinary surge of explosive power after a quiet dissolution of whispers and soft cymbals.

Even the ordering of the tracks flow naturally, starting with the intense "Metal March" and sticking slower tracks like "Leaving You" between two heavier songs, while wrapping things up with versatile masterpiece "Slander".

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Lyrics:
The coherent lyrics are simple to digest. "Sleep, while holding your anger tight. There's nothing I feel that makes it all real," perfectly captures the exhaustion and frustration of overhauling a late-night argument. "You're alone, paranoid and you're restless too" ("Just So You Know") wraps you in a blanket of irrational mania that cloaks a disintegrating relationship.

There's an alluring honesty in catchphrases like "If one thing is true, I'd smile for you - That's something I'd never do" and "There'll be no more lies, I'm throwing you all away" ("Slander"). Though sometimes painful in nature, we're reminded, "Sometimes there's more light in the shadows," suggesting an enlightened spin on the most heart-wrenching experiences.

All of the songs aren't about relational dialectics, however. Religion is tackled in one of my favorite songs "Useless". "If you look high, believe it - it's useless, forget it. If you stand tall, you've got it," the chorus rings true. "I Hate You" comes across abrasively at first unless you understand it's a reaction to unprofessional industry sharks out to make a quick buck off a young, optimistic band.

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Powerful Guitars:
If "Metal March" doesn't get your head banging immediately, I don't know what will! This is a CD that works best played at full-blast whether you're cleaning around home, speeding down the highway or blasting your eardrums out on your Ipod. "Disconnected" boasts fast riff intensity while "Useless" holds down a steady, lighter melody. There's more power packed into one guitar and one bass than four musicians could reproduce, with upgrades and sound expansion always in the works.


Quality Choices:
Instead of recording traditionally in sections, Farenheit recorded all the songs in one complete take to develop a realistic flow, rather than your typically artificial stop-n-go rhythms. They resisted the use of artificial effects but bolstered the sound of choruses and drums to give listeners an enjoyable ride. Playing an active role in the recording and mastering processes done with Dr. Sean at the impressive Toronto Recording House studio gave them a satisfying result and a killer debut album.

WEAKNESSES

You'd have to kill me before I speak a bad word about this CD, but if really pressed I'd admit "Painkiller" is the weakest link. Despite the clever use of a megaphone and surprise backing vocals, the melodies simply aren't as compelling as the rest of the collection and the choruses border on tedium.

It took me a bunch of listens to accept the new versions of "You Got Nerve" and "Just So You Know". I had become quite attached to the heavier choruses originally set in place; however, after more careful consideration, I understand why they altered the guitars for a more varied sound. Perhaps if they hadn't evolved, the songs would have sounded too similar. While I've come to terms with this decision, I'd still favor grittier riffs in "You Got Nerve" since the chorus seems to demand more unrestrained intensity than it's allowed.

Farenheit's "weaknesses" are mere paper cuts. My only real gripe about the CD is that it has to end. This refreshing four-piece from Whitby Ontario will undoubtedly leave you hungry for more. Disconnected is the soul-satisfying collection that will not leave your CD player or your mind.

Listen to Free Your Mind, Disconnected, When She Cries and Metal March here!

Upcoming Show: January 6th w/ State of Worth @ Sneaky Dee's

You Might Like If You're A Fan Of:
System of a Down. Slipknot. Deftones. Chevelle. Alexisonfire. Sevendust.

Favorite Tracks:
When She Cries, Useless, Metal March, Slander, I Hate You

Jennn's Rating: 5/5

Jennn's CD Index:
1 - I'll give you $10 if you can make it through the whole CD
2 - I'm not a fan, but someone might like it somewhere
3 - There are a couple offbeat tracks but it's 90% ROCKIN
4 - This CD rocks my world in its entirety. Buy or die.
5 - Go see them live, support them, join the cult.


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