The quintet’s name perhaps does not ring a bell in the minds of music fans fixated on popular Video Music Award-nominated stars, but Far From Finished’s recent release Forgettable hopes to change that. The 13-track album presents a portrait of the band’s personality and is sure to get some bells ringing in rock fans’ minds.
Hailing from Boston, the band teamed up with famed producer Jim Siegel, known for his projects with powerhouse punk bands Dropkick Murphys and The Unseen. Far From Finished’s blooming punk persona doesn’t stop there — with two prior releases and a sought-after spot in the grandiose Vans Warped Tour, the band continues to push forward in the music industry.
Its tunes reveal influence from Green Day, a high voice detailing stories ranging from romantic relationships to drug abuse. Despite possible comparisons to other well-known punk bands, Far From Finished holds its own. The band’s talent lies in its ability to capture a range of emotion and put the right riffs — or in some cases, violin notes — with those feelings. For a twist, the band takes mostly serious lyrics and pairs them with bouncy music. The songs infuse punk and pop with the standard instruments of guitar and drums but also create a different tempo with the more mellow and classical instruments of piano and violin.
The opening track of the album, “Outerspace,” tugs the listener into the CD immediately. The lines are honest and to the point, the shocking simplicity of piano notes and a medium-high voice blending seamlessly.
Touching on the universal theme of teenage rebellion, Far From Finished attracts young listeners but also plugs in a mature aspect to the cliched battle between youngsters and their parental authorities. Frontman Steve Neary’s melancholy voice croons the words, Guess my father was right / shouldn’t have stayed out all night / but what’s a boy to do / daddy doing drugs is so much fun.
The incantation of the word “outerspace” later in the song signals the unfurling of a layered instrumental piece which takes up the latter half of the song. Despite its considerable length, the musical interlude showcases an obvious thoughtfulness and attention to musical detail, therefore managing to keep listeners engaged.
Immediately after this ballad, the mood lifts. The following track, fittingly titled “I Just Wanna Play,” offers a more upbeat tune. The songs begins quickly with peppy high guitar notes and a smooth bass line. The singer’s voice keeps the song subdued, meshing a slightly gloomy mood with a screaming anthem near the end that offers an arena-like sound. “I just wanna play with my radio” serves as the central theme of the song, touching on the idea of using music as an escape.
Indeed, the band integrates this concept throughout the album by using the members’ life experiences to add poignancy to the tracks, producing tunes that show the acceptance of their youth and the struggles they encountered.
The band breaks out the trumpets during the track “Pliva-638,” a song presented in classic punk style, the fast riffs and energized drum beat providing an ironic background for the lyrics’ emotions, a trademark characteristic of the band.
The unique track’s name yields a playful platform for instrumental experimentation, a small piano note jumping in every now and then, a guitar chord screaming every so often and a slight pause that gives way to the confident loudness of the chorus. The band lets go of any restraint and creates a song sandwiched between ska-style trumpet notes. The matching of the clever lyrics — I get to be the wrecking ball / and you get to be the wreck — along with solid guitar-playing help wrap up one of the band’s best tracks.
As a whole, the album enlightens listeners about the existence of a lesser-known quintet with a natural talent for creating tracks that echo in the mind. The singer’s voice, though at times shy, feels intimate, almost as if the singer himself were almost pressing his lips against the recording microphone.
Though not all the tracks hold the same amount of complexity or offer the same appeal, if the band embraces more of the unrestrained directness and shocking simplicity of the opening track “Outerspace” and continues the pairing of upbeat music with heartfelt words, its sound will surely become even more signature. And perhaps this recent release can serve as the launching point for an even larger career.
To exploit the pun-filled nature of the band and its newest release, Far From Finished really is just starting its music career and remains far from throwing in the towel. For fans of tracks that bring a little upbeat, a little emotion and musical talent, this album is far from forgettable.