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From the 27th State
Artists: Further Seems Forever/Recess Theory
Label: Takehold Records
Time: 6 tracks at 23:03 minutes

Pictures of Shorelines (sample)
Just til Sundown (sample)
Justice Prevails (sample)
From the 27th State is a split CD from Takehold Records. It features the power pop of Further Seems Forever and the modern rock of Recess Theory, two new bands from Florida, the 27th state.

Both bands have a good ear for pop melodies and toe tapping progressions. Further Seems Forever, made up of former members of Strongarm, Shai Hulud, and the Vacant Andy's, has the more powerful sound of the two; more fuzzed guitars and stronger vocals. Further fills their songs with energy. Recess Theory's sound is smaller, with more natural sounding treble guitars and fragile vocals. Each band has put three songs on the EP. Both are writing fine, fresh music talking about relationships, and feelings. 

Some good drumming moves Further Seems Forever along at a brisk clip through their share of the tunes. Tunes about breaking up ("The Bradley"), and then breaking up again ("Justice Prevails"), and then meeting someone ("New Year's Project").

Recess Theory uses some harmonies to help fill out their indie rock sound. With nice sensibilities, Recess's sound is full of possibilities. All three songs are notable. The second of their three, "Tonight, This Three Hour Drive," has a 77's-like hook in the song as they sing, "They say that it's all but impossible." is an interesting song about a long distance relationship.

It's a nice EP from a diverse label. These two bands will most likely be putting out full lengths on Takehold one day soon, but for now, I think you will like this spoonful of sensitivity and sound.

Tony LaFianza 10/29/99 

Do we really need more emo bands? Apparently some guys in Florida think so. These two bands are basically paint-by-numbers, but the addition of some pop accessibility, hi-fi production, and personal yet understandable lyrics help them grow on you.

The disc puts its best foot forward with Further Seems Forever--one of the strongest examples I've heard of the emotive post-hardcore genre. They're tight, with just the right mixture of tender melodic guitars, sudden sheets of distortion, and likeable, passionate vocals. No doubt much of Further Seems Forever's strength is drawn from the experience of its lineup--the band being made up of former members of Strongarm, Shai Hulud, and the Vacant Andy's.

Lyrics deal with relationships good and bad (what else?). "The Bradley" bitterly remembers a betrayal and deception:

  these bonds were always faked
 crafted for safety's sake
 but pasted wings and foil rings
 do not an angel make.
"Justice Prevails" continues the theme by recalling the aftermath of being cheated on:

         And you can deny this
         but I won't let you,
         and you can defy this,
         it's not beneath you,
         and we can try this,
         but were we meant to,
         and this will divide us,
         and then we'll be through.

Thankfully, "New Year's Project" is more positive, voicing soft hope for love.

Recess Theory have a more timid take on emo, with spiraling and interwoven clean tone guitars and bass featured more than the more common quiet/loud formula. The vocalist has that annoying stopped-up nose sound; somebody please give him a Kleenex before the next recording session.

"Checklist before Chicago" deals with moving, lamenting "the radio plays what it wants to hear so I'm out of here."  "Tonight, This Three Hour Drive" portrays thoughts on a long-distance relationship as the guy makes the drive, stands at her door, and "in flip-flops we take off and she is golden."

Both of these bands are resonant of others that I can't put my finger on. Other than that, there's not much to complain of if you like emo. Keep your ears out especially for Further Seems Forever, as they show the most promise of the two.

Josh Spencer   12/10/99


Josh Spencer, contributing senior associate editor for The Phantom Tollbooth for over two years, is also publisher and editor-in-chief of spiritual pop culture webzine Stranger Things.  Reviews and articles by him are usually simultaneously published in some form at http://www.strangerthingsmag.com.

From T&N News

Tooth and Nail has signed FURTHER SEEMS FOREVER , a Florida based rock band, featuring ex-members of Strongarm And Shai Hulud.  One person described them as, "Crystalline towers of guitar power soaring to the silver heavens, lush fountains of fluid melody, and lyrics created from the morning after the night paradise descends." Look for their album to be out mid-late 2000. 

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