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Relatively new to the scene (formed in 2011) Far Away Stables haven’t wasted any time making their intentions clear on their ‘Behind The Bookcase’ EP. The group have their sound locked down, following the progressive post-hardcore vein of bands such as Circa Survive, Chiodos and a little closer to home, Closure In Moscow. While, unfortunately the production elements of this recording aren’t able to match the band’s already fairly accomplished song-writing abilities (things need to sound bigger and have more impact) this little introduction will no doubt hook listeners in enough to want some more.
After a short intro track, which doesn’t really hit the mark due to the production woes mentioned, the EP’s strongest song A Beggars Plea, quickly pricks the ears thanks to its clever dynamics and catchy vocal hooks. This song follows the 30 Seconds To Mars formula pretty closely and possibly even betters it at points.
The title track begins with humbling guitars and Brendan Sheargold’s smooth vocal lines, which are at the centre of all of these songs. The soft beginning quickly injects some fast paced beats and frenzied guitars, changing the tone of the song dramatically, but done in a way that gives the play list the energy bump it needed. The mid-section breakdown of the track (especially the vocal hook and guitar riffage) is the pinnacle of the record, hopefully there is more of this aggression to come in future releases.
The Art Of Madness keeps the pace constant with the vocal lines being pushed to new limits, the spotlight on this number however is stolen by the rhythm section, which constantly throws new surprises in at every turn. The record closes with Such is Life, which attempts to be the anthemic closer with its big opening chords. This track seems to be on a slightly lesser level to its predecessors but does well to show a different side to the band with its piano breakdowns, not as keen on the massive guitar solo though.
It is clear that this band is willing to be adventurous, which is a very good thing, and they are not too far from pulling it off seamlessly. A little more experience and a better produced and mixed debut will see Far Away Stables rise very quickly in the Aussie alternative rock scene.
2. A Beggar’s Plea
3. Behind The Bookcase
4. The Art Of Madness
5. Such Is Life