New singer sets Further Seems Forever ablaze

If you haven’t heard of Further Seems Forever yet, where have you been? In 1999, members of the hardcore band Strongarm joined up with the former lead singer of the Vacant Andy’s, Chris Carrabba, to create a full-length titled “The Moon is Down.” After recording the album, Chris Carrabba went on to form a little band called Dashboard Confessional. But that wasn’t the end of Further Seems Forever.

Jason Gleason, of the metal band Affinity, was there to take over. Considering the popularity of Chris’ new band, Jason had some big shoes to fill. After covering Nsync’s “Bye Bye Bye” on the “Punk Goes Pop” compilation and a summer tour, Further Seems Forever was back in the studio with their new singer.

“How to Start a Fire” was released in February and has changed the face of Further Seems Forever as we know it. These aren’t the same brand of lyrics as on their first album, which were reminiscent of sitting on the beach with a past summer love, but they seem to be the next step in the relationship. Jason adds the emotion to Further Seems Forever that Chris found when creating Dashboard, making Jason a much better fit for the band.

Musically, the band took a giant step as well. Their signature sound, which mixes melodic choruses and intros with aggression-filled guitar riffs, became much tighter and well performed on this album. There even seems to be a touch of blues and jazz added into songs like the “A Blank Page Empire” and “I Am.”

One song in particular really stands out on the album. Track two, “The Sound,” screams Further Seems Forever. The lyrics almost seem as though they should be on “The Moon is Down” but are not exactly Chris’ style. The song starts off moderately slow and then goes into an upbeat sing-a-long chorus that will keep you humming for days.

The album cover is a visual representation of the title track, portraying a man starting a fire with another man’s heart. This song, along with “Pride War,” seems to paint the idea for the album, the loss and rejuvenation of hope in our hearts.

But don’t be scared emo kids, there are many love songs on this album. Songs like “I Am,” “On Legendary” and “Aurora Borealis (in long form)” have Jason belting out lyrics to his love. With lines like “I am forever/ but I could be never/ if that’s what you want” you cannot deny a little tingle in your heart.

This is one of the best sophomore albums ever produced. It’s a giant step in the right direction for Further Seems Forever. I suggest going out and getting both “The Moon is Down” and “How to Start a Fire;” you will not be disappointed.

Rating: 4 Stars

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