Self-Release [Release date – 11.08.14]
Fahran were formed from the ashes of Toxic Federation back in 2012. This is the band’s second release following on from their self-titled debut album and it sees the debut of new vocalist Matt Black and bassist Josh Ballantyne.
On listening to the first track, ‘Long Gone’, several things become clear, the band are as tight as a duck’s rear end, for a self-produced album both production and final mix are spot on, oh and the band kick some serious ass! Looking at the band photograph the five guys all look fairly young but this album would suggest they have experience beyond their tender years.
Reading the band’s biog it states that Fahran’s sound is like a combination of older stalwarts like Maiden and Queen melded with the new, Shinedown, Black Stone Cherry etc which is a fair description.
New singer Matt Black has a strong and soulful voice which suits the music well and over the 13 tracks included on the album the musicianship is top notch. The double guitar work of Jake Graham and Chris Byrne (who incidentally produced the album) is excellent, this is where the Maiden influence is at its clearest.
Highlights are plentiful throughout the album with tracks like ‘ Take This City Alive’ and ‘I Heard A Joke Once’ which are short, sharp rockers rubbing shoulders with ‘Prison’ and ‘Back To Me’ which are well constructed epic numbers. The two stand out tracks for me were ‘Black Mirror’, which starts with a bit of quiet bass noodling before running full pelt to the finale, and the rocking ballad ‘Storms We Ride’ with great drumming from JR Windsor.
Why this band aren’t yet signed to a label is beyond me. They have the songs and the talent to be the next big thing given the chance and the right opportunities. It’s about time that the American dominance of the new wave of melodic rock headed by Shinedown et al had a British challenger, Fahran could well be the band spoiling for the fight. ****
Review by David Wilson
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