Turn to the Bright [EP]

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This young band claims both Huey Lewis and Shadows Fall as influences, but first-time listeners can be forgiven if they're not sure they hear a whole lot of either in the Far-Less sound. In fact, on their debut EP, these guys sound a bit like refugees from the Load label, unloading sludgy but complex guitar noise over vocals that alternate between hoarse screams and really quite attractive singing. The program consists of four songs bookended by untitled instrumentals (which aren't listed on the package, but whose presence is hinted at by ambiguous track numbering). "Scorched Earth Policy" is perhaps the best example of the band's hard/soft/hard vocal approach, while "Georgia" stays more consistently within the bounds of emotion-laden post-punk; "Mountain Song" brings back the screaming, but places it almost subliminally beneath the conventional crooning of singer Brandon Welch. "Out of Balance (Koyaanisqatsi)" is a show-off vehicle for the band's very impressive drummer, as well as a recapitulation of the alternating screaming/singing theme. Altogether, this is an impressive debut, if not really stylistically groundbreaking. Here's looking forward to the full-length.

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