Using Nintendo-game backdrops (at least, thats what they sound like) as a background for their vocals, Far Rad immediately win my heart. The vocals on â€œCellarâ€ are reminiscent of the now-defunct Unicorns and an audible Steve Lieberman. Almost breaching the wall between rap and rock, â€œBeteleuseâ€ has Spike Jonze, Frank Zappa, and Atom and His Package form a Voltron-like creature, gaining strength from the noisy chorus and linear-to-a fault stanza. The chugging nature of Far Radâ€™s track as well as the style of the vocals also scream Les Claypool; Lesâ€™ bass, however impressive it may be finds an analogue in the omnipresent synth-lines to be found during â€œThis Candyâ€™s Grossâ€. This instrumental virtuosity and ear for arrangements are shown by â€œRave Mix â€˜96â€, which has more turns than a D&D cave; there is no possible way to get bored with this dreamy-pop. Far Radâ€™s approach to â€œThis Candyâ€™s Grossâ€ is innovative; while there is definitely a current offered the disc, each track a different paean to one of Far Radâ€™s influences. For example, â€œHard Boiledâ€ simultaneously calls on the spirit of Bad Religion, early Talking heads, and Devo. The punk influence may seem a little off-kilter, but I contend that this connection is deliberate, as Far Rad covers a Queers track (Tulu is a Wimp) immediately after.
Far Rad is the smarter personâ€™s Gnarkill. The same synth-driven, screamed-out vocals are present in both albums, and both have a pirate-esque track (â€œAlligatorâ€ for Far Rad, â€œSwab the Deckâ€ for Gnarkill). â€œMovies are Funâ€ looks back to the eighties, specifically Peter Gabrielâ€™s â€œThe Choclate Warâ€ soundtrack, as Far Rad uses the synthesizer in an almost-theramin like duty. The multi-part harmony on â€œMovies are Funâ€, while not technically too draining, still provides the entirety of â€œCandyâ€™sâ€ with a more full sound. In a sense, Far Rad is revolutionary with â€œThis Candyâ€™s Grossâ€; much like Sweet Pickle, there is a rap influence that comes out at times alongside a visible punk influence. Where Sweet Pickle create straight-rap tracks, where Far Rad most visibly shows their love of the genre comes in their delivery, which is a cross between speaking and singing, with an almost hip-hop flow. Far Radâ€™s album is ambition, and everything that the band tries to do on the track is a success, whether it be the instrumentals (Rave Mix â€™96, Picture Picture) or the obvious plays for attention (the Queers cover).
Top Tracks: Movies are Fun, Hard Boiled
Far Rad â€“ This Candyâ€™s Gross / 2005 Johannâ€™s Face / 12 Tracks / http://www.farrad.com / firstname.lastname@example.org / Reviewed 18 February 2005