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"Powerful shoegazing? Yeah, we’re shocked, too."

Far-Less - A Toast To Bad Taste
Posted by Rachel Lux on 26-Feb-08 @ 03:40 PM

Powerful shoegazing? Yeah, we’re shocked, too.

Tooth & Nail has a knack for plucking the best and brightest from Smalltown, USA. Days after Far-Less, very much fitting this mold, entered the studio in April to record A Toast To Bad Taste, their hometown of Blacksburg, Virginia, became the setting of the mortifying Virginia Tech shooting. Whether consciously or not, this young sextet deliver an effort that reflects bravery in both a musical and very personal way. Building on the shoegazer foundation of stalwarts like Elliott and Hum and blending in the more active flair of Muse and The Receiving End Of Sirens, the group paint a moody and beautiful canvas of engaging atmospheric rock. The vocals soar over a dynamic mixture of softer piano melodies and angsty guitar and drum licks. While the songs may not have the same charming and sugary hooks of some of their labelmates, this is an admirable musical effort that commands you to turn it up. (TOOTH & NAIL) Kevin Wade - Alternative Press Magazine

"Passionately defined rock 'n roll that can stand on its own"

Far-Less - A Toast to Bad Taste
Reviewed by: Scott Irvine (11/16/07)

Far-Less - A Toast to Bad Taste
Released October 23rd, 2007
Tooth & Nail Records

“Three cheese panini! Uhhhmmerr…number 677.”

The Landmark Diner.
The only restaurant I know of that already has a five o’clock shadow after only being in business for a little more than a month. Nevertheless, it’s conveniently located directly next to my dorm and is a decent choice for getting a quick bite to eat -- and in this case: lounging in a booth with a laptop, headphones, and a drink from the dispensable cappuccino machine. French Vanilla. I can faintly hear what sounds like a surf rock hip-hop song of sorts from the speakers above me. Far-Less’s “A Thin Line” luckily drowns most of it out. God forbid the Beastie Boys sought out the Beach Boys for collaboration or something. It’d be interesting to see what that project would be called, though. I’ve been sitting here for what seems like an hour; time spent skipping around A Toast to Bad Taste (the latter band’s newest release and follow-up to the well-received Everyone Is Out to Get Us) nibbling on cold French fries, and watching the dull ebb/flow of hungry eighteen year-olds lining up behind the register directly adjacent to me. As a train of dykey softball players clamor into sight and Amy Winehouse’s “Rehab” drunkenly stammers into earshot from outside my headphones, Far-Less becomes a haven of sorts from the bleak diner politics around me. And for being a staunchly straightforward rock album (read: not what you’d normally find on my iPod), it’s a rather good listen.

I initially pegged A Toast to Bad Taste as an album that’d get enough of my attention for one listen through and a subsequent shoot-down. Maybe a little post-coital spooning afterwards just to make sure I made the right final-judgment. Yet here I am running it through for a fifth time. The album as a whole is sophisticatedly arranged (interludes, intro, “As Performed By…”) and Far-Less cater to the extra care and embellishments given by exemplifying what it means to be a heroically solid rock band. Songs like “It’s Not Me, It’s You” and “Surprise Funeral (For the Charmed)” are unexpectedly stunning, displaying Brandon Welch’s extraordinary vocal execution, Todd Turner’s watertight backing, and spiraling et epically-drawn guitar orchestration. Even the “segues” (essentially interludes) are nicely put together. Most read like a clip from a Portugal. The Man song, all below a 1:30 and featuring plenty of production sparkle, vocal distortion, but they do their job in making sure the ensuing song is seamlessly introduced.

The band falters here and there, though – this is absolutely not a perfect album after all. The album starts out on an undemanding foot, as “A Toast to Bad Taste” and “I Hope We Swim (Oceans)” are comparatively unimpressive when songs like “A Thin Line” and “It’s Not Me…” follow. “Keep Keep” is relatively stuck in the cliché, despite a pretty incredible chorus. The same goes for “Forever and a Day”; a pretty insignificant track towards the end of A Toast… that slows things down a bit with help from the addition of a piano and violins. “I Gave In”, the final song, barely provides proper closure to an album so intent to read like a storybook. The last minute is superb (“What is valuable to you?” repeated with properly paced snare snaps in tow) but it comes too late in the song to have any real impact. A select few other songs are open for criticism, some more than others, but it’s hard to nitpick when the rest of the album is really damn good.

A couple of trips back to the cappuccino machine and three breaks to listen to The Promise Rings’ “Red Paint” later – I’m as sure I’ve got A Toast to Bad Taste as zeroed in as I’ll get it. Right in time too; the dinner rush has set in and cheeseburgers are being tossed out one after another as if they were the only thing on the menu. Somehow Far-Less make it a more bearable place, though. “We all belong down here/We all belong” hovers gently around my ears as I make my peace with the table I’ve leaned against for the past hour and a half and begin to pack up. The night is young and it seems to have been set in the right direction. Far-Less appears to be the reason. Elegantly thought-out and pieced together with a composure that is heard very rarely nowadays. Cheers! Passionately defined rock ‘n roll that can stand on its own -- now that is something to toast to!

http://www.absolutepunk.net/showthread.php?t=278725 - Absolutepunk.net

"Far-Less packs a punch of power, sensitivity, desperation and hope"

Post-hardcore, indie rock, or whatever you’d like to call it, this band is on a mission to bring you relevant, powerful music...From humble beginnings in true DIY fashion, Far-Less has come into their own, pulling influences from the heyday of Smashing Pumpkins and Soundgarden, while drawing inspiration from Brand New, Muse and Dredge. Far-Less packs a punch of power, sensitivity, desperation, and hope into each track on this disc, it does nothing less than make you feel (and dance.) - FMBQ.com

"The variety of styles and memorable chorusing on the record are, truly, in good taste."

“A Toast To Bad Taste,” the band’s third release and second full-length on Tooth And Nail records, is indisputably their best effort. The band hasn’t strayed far from their roots, and still meshes the melodic vocal identity of singer Brandon Welch with swirling, technical guitar riffs. But on “A Toast,” the band showcases a more unified effort to unveil an array of themes. Whether it’s the immediate punch of the title track, with bouncy, head-bobbin’ guitar riffs or the piano-driven atmospheres of “Gentlemen (Go To Sleep),” the album is filled with creativity and innovation. It’s this spread of genres and styles that makes this album feel much more complete than ever before.

Singer Welch, for those who are unfamiliar, is faintly reminiscent of the singers in Incubus and Classic Case, but on this album goes out on his own—especially on the aforementioned “Gentlemen” track in which strings and pianos support the falsetto moments. But it’s not until “Keep Keep” that the band really identifies a style that is resonating, with clean, tight guitar riffs and an explosive chorus: “You’re so crazy, aren’t you something, what you don’t know can hurt you…Lines are drawn and lines are crossed…” leads up to a rather epic breakdown. This band knows what they’re doing, especially when it comes to playing guitars—and finally they have created compositions that are at once memorable, epic, and grandiose. For just one example of this vision, look no further than "Surprise Funeral," a song that builds with piano and smooth, clean vocals into explosive, driven guitars and megaphone-y vocal progressions--and right back again.

And it’s this reaching vision that is ironic; despite the visionary conquest on the 16 tracks, at moments the musical interludes and instrumental conquests take away from the hooky, memorable moments they counteract. Perhaps that is the only complaint one could have with this record.

Without doubt, “A Toast To Bad Taste” is an album that you won’t forget, and while it occasionally is a bit boring in the drawn-out instrumental interludes, the variety of styles and (finally) memorable chorusing on the record are, truly, in good taste.

reviewed by Andrew Martin - EmotionalPunk.com

"Fan’s of epic guitar rock with obvious hardcore and metal underpinnings but no screaming will probably shit themselves over this record."

A Toast to Bad Taste

Reviewed by: John-Michael Bond [Tue, October 23, 2007 @ 3:14:13 PM]

I’ve heard that A Toast of Bad Taste supposedly is a great growth from Far-Less’ previous work, but I haven’t heard their previous work so I’m afraid I’m a bit in the dark about that. However there are a few things that I do know about A Toast to Bad Taste.

A) By combining the Deftones more epic melodic parts with the twisted rhythmic guitars and jazzy drums of Glassjaw the band has made the record I’ve been waiting for since Worship and Tribute.

B) There are too many “Segue” songs on this record. While I appreciate the band making it an option to skip these tracks and just get to the meat of the song there presence doesn’t really add anything past the first listen. With the exception of…

C) “Segue To So Glad” which one of the best songs on the record. The marching band drums, the guitar noodling and the intense build up are truly impressive and really compliment its companion piece “So Glad,” even if “So Glad” isn’t as good a song as its introduction.

D) Fan’s of epic guitar rock with obvious hardcore and metal underpinnings but no screaming will probably shit themselves over this record. This isn’t a bloated disc of “one hit wonders” but if you give it some quality face time there is wealth of truly stirring music to be discovered.

E) I know I gave this record a 8 out of 10

F) I know I would recommend it to fans of Glassjaw, Finch, Muse or Deftones
- Mammoth Press

"Melodic, prog-y, and rocking all at the same time"

by Greg Prato

The press release that accompanies Far-Less' 2007 release, A Toast to Bad Taste, contains a pretty bold statement — "Sounding unashamedly modern while retaining a foot in the '90s heyday of Smashing Pumpkins and Soundgarden." Well, they certainly have the "modern" part right, as the group possesses a sound that is quite similar to the countless number of other emo/indie/post-hardcore bands fighting for a footing in the early 21st century. But truth be told, A Toast to Bad Taste bears no resemblance at all to the two other aforementioned groups that played a large hand in defining '90s rock — where that comparison came from remains a mystery. Managing to be melodic, proggy, and rocking all at the same time, Far-Less fit nicely in the current crop of Tooth & Nail bands, as heard on the explosive opening title track, "I Hope We Swim (Oceans)," and "It's Not Me, It's You." Lofty comparisons aside, A Toast to Bad Taste will certainly not disappoint fans of Far-Less' earlier output.
- Allmusicguide.com

"Creating undisguised music, emotionally raw and exceptionally witty, Far-Less makes a bold step in breaking the ice of musical mediocrity."

Written by Anna Larson
Tuesday, 16 October 2007
Album: A Toast to Bad Taste
Artist: Far-Less
Websites: Official and MySpace

Fellow rock addicts, meet Far-Less—your new best friend. Six musicians make up this fine group - Brandon Welch, Jordan Powers, Mark Karsten, Joseph Powers, Elizabeth Pina, and Todd Turner - and together, they bring you a most brilliant collection of songs in their second album, A Toast to Bad Taste.

The sixteen tracks that form this musical composition are astonishingly personal and truly interesting. Going beyond the scope of simple catchiness, nothing here is mundane or half-baked. There is, on the contrary, a great deal of honesty and refreshing originality coloring the songs, making for a nice change of pace on the rock scene.

Thankfully, the lyrics aren't fluffed up to a sappy or cheesy level - they are unreserved, unpretentious, and genuine. Even lyrical glimpses such as: I would dig and dig and dig / 'Til I was abstract / I'm not myself again / And who will miss us when we're gone? / Only time will tell... and You see it's coming, but you can't look past it / You know it's useless, but you keep on asking / So take the time and take the life I've been given / I need a different rhythm / We, we all, we all belong down here... from "It's Not Me, It's You" and "Surprise Funeral (For The Charmed)", respectively, give a sense of the album's depth.

Instrumentally, A Toast to Bad Taste has plenty to offer. The guitar riffs are unique, catchy and performed with obvious talent and style. Those in "A Thin Line" and the title track "A Toast to Bad Taste" (and many more) are enough to make listening guitarists jealous.

A couple songs feature keys instead of guitar, and they tie in perfectly with the rest of the album. The drums and rhythms pull everything together, creating a really tight sound, that is neither overdone nor boringly unvaried.

Creating undisguised music, emotionally raw and exceptionally witty, Far-Less makes a bold step in breaking the ice of musical mediocrity. As a result of its invigorating authenticity, don't be surprised if you find yourself listening to A Toast to Bad Taste for hours on end - it is surely deserving.

In these sixteen tracks of rock savvy, I have no complaints. - ACED Magazine

"Near-dissonant power chords one passage; orchestral flashes the next; and screaming choruses under complex rhythms to top it off."

Get Out: Far-Less blowing through Roanoke


Courtesy of Thoughts on Vinyl

A Toast to Bad Taste
I Hope We Swim (Oceans)
A Surprise Funeral (for the Charmed)
Get a load of heavy, moody rock from a hardworking band this weekend.

Marion's Far-Less is coming to Blacksburg and Roanoke, touring behind its just-released Tooth & Nail compact disc, "A Toast To Bad Taste."

The band might be toasting bad taste, but its music is a more complex presentation: Near-dissonant power chords one passage; orchestral flashes the next; and screaming choruses under complex rhythms to top it off.

Hear the band Friday afternoon at Crossroads CDs in Blacksburg. That evening, the group sets up at Attitudes with openers The Glass Ocean (from Atlanta) and Secret and Whisper (from Kelowna, British Columbia).

On Sunday, all three head up Interstate 81 to play the Roanoke Ballet Theatre with local rockers Madrone.

"A Toast to Bad Taste" is Far-Less's second album on Tooth & Nail, and the band is putting in plenty of road work to support it.

At the end of this 10-date run with The Glass Ocean and Secret & Whisper, the group hooks up with He Is Legend. That tour will make stops in Harrisonburg and Danville, in case you want more of Far-Less.

-- Tad Dickens - The Roanoke Times

"‘A Toast To Bad Taste’ doesn’t just pick up the eclectic alternative rock baton and run with it, it sprints past the finishing line leaving the competition stuck at the starting line tying their bootlaces"

A Toast To Bad Taste
Purchase Online

Reviewed: 10/21/2007 by Mike

The problem for me with hardcore, screamcore or in Far-Less’s case pop-core is that it ain’t my thing at all. Hence Far-Less’s previous album ‘Everyone Is Out To Get Us’ barely rippled my aural millpond. You see, call me old fashioned but a screaming vocal style does nothing to embellish rock music but merely speeds up its demise. However bands grow up and mature and that is exactly what has happened to Far-Less. Originally signed by Tooth and Nail after the band bombarded them with demo cd’s the label has presided over the development of the band, taking them forward through natural progression. Far-Less has always been capable of penning songs with tangible hooks and melody but the vocal style took away most of the gloss. ‘A Toast To Bad Taste’ dispenses with the aggressive vocal elements but retains the more radio friendly moments, the unquestionable instrumental progressiveness and shows that Far-Less has the ability to deliver uncompromisingly eclectic alternative rock music. Harnessing traits from latter day Smashing Pumpkins, British modern progressive rockers Muse and even My Chemical Romance, clever songs like ‘I Hope That We Swim’, Gentlemen (Got To Sleep)-check out the sensational guitar solo at the end-and the more straight ahead emo of ‘Keep Keep’, serve to illustrate an unerring arrival onto the scene. ‘A Toast To Bad Taste’ doesn’t just pick up the eclectic alternative rock baton and run with it, it sprints past the finishing line leaving the competition stuck at the starting line tying their bootlaces.

http://www.alternativeaddiction.com/newmusic/exec/albumreviews.asp?id=469 - AlternativeAddiction.com


Emerge (2001) - Self-Released
Apossibility (2002) - Self-Released
Broken Hearts Unite (2003) - Silent Uproar Records
Turn to the Bright (2004) - Tooth and Nail Records
Everyone Is Out to Get Us (2006) - Tooth and Nail Records
A Toast to Bad Taste (2007) - Tooth and Nail Records
Untitled EP (2009) - Tooth and Nail Records



Far-Less FAQ

Q. What is the name of the band?
A. Far-Less.

Q. Where do they live?
A. All but one member of the band (which one is it?!) lives together in a house in Virginia, where they converted their garage into a professional recording studio.

Q. Who is in the band?
A. These are the five members:
Brandon Welch - lead vocals, guitar
Jordan Powers - guitar, vocals
Brandon Hackler - guitar
Tyler Hill - drums
Brian Freeman - bass

Q. What genre are they?
A. They're a notably difficult band to classify, but some terms and phrases that come close are: “powerful shoegazing,” “epic guitar rock,” “melodic, prog-y, and rocking,” and the illustriously vague “alternative rock.”

Q. What have they released?
A. Here's what they have released so far:
Emerge (2001) - Self-Released
Apossibility (2002) - Self-Released
Broken Hearts Unite (2003) - Silent Uproar Records
Turn to the Bright (2004) - Tooth and Nail Records
Everyone Is Out to Get Us (2006) - Tooth and Nail Records
A Toast to Bad Taste (2007) - Tooth and Nail Records
Untitled EP (2009) - Tooth and Nail Records

Q. What is their next project?
A. Far-Less will be releasing a digital EP consisting of reworked catalog tracks and a new song. This EP will introduce the new direction of sound Far-Less is taking and is the first release by the new line-up.

Q. What is the new direction?
A. Well, see, the band used to sound like that and now they sound like this, and it's really awesome.

Q. I heard that the band broke-up in 2008.
A. Nope, they didn't.

Q. Then why did I hear that?
A. Because they did, then they didn't. The band was incredibly (and understandably) frustrated with all the goings-on and business-as-usual politics of the music industry. But after some reorganization, Far-Less is actuated by that same frustration to define new ways of creating music, art, and doing business, hence the aforementioned “new direction.”

Q. Is that intended to sound ominous?
A. Yes. 2009 has some interesting things in store.

Q. When is their next tour?
A. Far-Less will be supporting their 2009 EP with a summer national tour in June with And Then There Were None (Tooth & Nail) and Abandon Kansas, and in July with Abandon Kansas and Paper Mache.

Q. Who else have they toured with?
A. Mae, The Honorary Title, 10 Years, Emery, Anberlin, He Is Legend, House of Fools, Three Days Grace, Paulson, Sullivan, Thousand Foot Krutch, Roses are Red, Secret and Whisper, The Glass Ocean, and many others.

Q. Are they signed?
A. Yeah. Tooth & Nail. For now.

Q. What's their website?
A. Their Myspace is www.myspace.com/farless and their blog is at www.far-less.tumblr.net.

Q. What is their contact information?
A. You may contact Far-Less' management:
Nicole Haldeman
(323) 533-0034

Casey Shafer