In the hardcore community, Far are legendary for mixing melodic vocals with hardcore breakdowns. Here, on their fifth album, At Night We Live, they don’t entirely prove why so much as make a case for being radio friendly and also talented. Sounding like a mixture between and Deftones and Quicksand on a lot of the tracks, Far have created something that can satisfy large audiences and rock critics alike.
The record plays like a good mix tape, knowing when to take it up a notch and when to cool it down a little. For every forward moving rocker there’s an equally slow moving semi ballad. Singer Jonah Matranga’s voice is perfectly suited for either, shining on the slower songs and visceral on the faster ones. Give a listen to “Burns” for an example of the best of both worlds. The band does an admirable job at being versatile, sludge guitar riffs and dance drums on Better Surrender, slow shimmering guitar patterns and jazz beats on If You Cared Enough. After more than 15 years together, the band can easily showcase that they are among the best at what they do.
Radio rock has fallen by the wayside to a large degree and the untalented dregs of society that call themselves musicians or bands have unfortunately gotten popular off of its carcass. At Night We Live may not sell a million copies, and the band may not become the new faces of mass media rock music. However, the fact that Far have created a slick sounding record with integrity is a testament to the talent and focus of the group. If every big rock record sounded as good as this, maybe there’d be less cynicism among critics.