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Fahran: Chasing Hours

Many eyebrows were raised when singer Matt Black announced that he was leaving up and coming (and Tony Mills (Shy) endorsed) UK AORsters Serpentine to replace Nick Whitcroft in the little known Fahran. However one listen to their second album, and first with Black behind the mic, Chasing Hours, and any lingering doubts are immediately banished. The singer himself is immense here, his sharp, incisive tones perfect for the riff heavy, yet melodic fare this bunch specialise in and, truth be told, also much, much more comfortable than he ever sounded in the stratosphere shattering territory Serpentine wanted their ex-frontman to inhabit.

Guitar pair Jake Graham and Chris Byrne, certainly do burn, as they fire through song after aggressively melodic song, dropping hints of Iron Maiden here, Shinedown there and Black Stone Cherry with an industrial box of fireworks up their ass exploding everywhere. It makes for a classy, yet gritty demonstration of how to construct songs with real depth and clarity, which somehow still brim over with power, might and authority. "Chasing Hours" itself is a mid-paced stomp, illustrating the light and shadow Fahran seem able to conjure at a moment's notice, while the smashingly cymbal heavy "Long Gone" allows drummer JR Windsor to confidently hammer his mark on a song that relies as much on brooding atmosphere as it does brutish force.

With Fahran, this is the real territory in which they illustrate their skills, the variance in attack not just from song to song, but within each individual track suggesting an outfit far more mature in years and experience than this young group have any right to expect. Proving it's a real band effort, bassist Josh Ballantyne isn't outdone either, his unfussy, yet solid displays underpinning his more exuberant six string mates as they smash things up during "Take This City Alive", strut and pout in a Voodoo Six style on "I Heard A Joke Once" and add a heavier Thin Lizzy like groove and swagger to "Are We Free".

Add to all of the above, that Fahran are an unsigned outfit where the guitar pair of Graham and Byrne sat behind the production desk (Graham also mixed the damn thing!) and the prospect of what this bunch could do with a big budget and name producer, could be off the charts. As it is Chasing Hours is a great album and Fahran another in a growing list of bands proving that the UK's Rock resurgence is in very safe hands indeed.

Track Listing
1. Long Gone
2. Take This City Alive
3. A Thousand Nights
4. I Heard A Joke Once
5. Chasing Hours
6. Cased In Steel
7. You Could Be Mine
8. Some Kind Of Family
9. Are We Free
10. Back To Me
11. Prison
12. Black Mirror
13. Storms We Ride

Added: August 30th 2014
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Fahran online
Hits: 3416
Language: english

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