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Far Cry, The: If Only…

Robert Hutchinson and Jeff Brewer first met in the ‘70s and would eventually form the American band Holding Pattern in 1981, lasting for around ten years before disbanding in the early ‘90s. The band reformed in 2007 and have a couple of albums to their name. In 2013 the two musicians would meet up again and eventually form the band The Far Cry with their debut album titled If Only…, released in 2021.

The band play a style of retro prog with, at times, a good amount of heaviness. The guitar playing is both melodic and creative and the rhythmic interplay is very tight as the band displays excellent musicianship throughout the disc’s eight tracks beginning with the fine “The Mask of Deception”. This is a good example of heavy prog where the veteran players really show their stuff. The vocals are also very good mixed with spoken word and enhanced sections. I really dig how the band combines complexity with excellent melodies. The up-tempo “Programophone” is a real rhythmic burner with super tight guitar and bass riffs and a little bit of Zappa-like humour in the spoken word vocals. The short “Winterland” is much softer and gentler, and you can catch your breath before the progressive rock epic “Simple Pleasures”, an outstanding slice of retro flavoured prog with stunning melodies, lovely keyboards, and soaring dynamics. The musicianship is just so tasteful, including the excellent lead vocals and lead guitar. “The Missing Floor”, one of four instrumentals, is another melodic gem featuring fine guitar and keyboard interplay. The heavier riffs add a little more punch to their sound.

I am very impressed with this debut album from a band I had no idea existed. This is certainly one to watch for in the coming years. Recommended.

Band Members:
Robert Hutchinson (drums, percussion, bells, spoken word)
Jeff brewer (lead and backing vocals, bass, bass synth, bass pedals, guitar)
Bryan Collin (electric and acoustic guitars)
Chris Dabbo (piano, keyboards, vocals)
Richard Silva (keyboards on “Programophone”)
Kendra Emery (alto and tenor sax on “The Mask of Deception”)

Track Listing:
1. The Mask of Deception (11:26)
2. Programophone (6:51)
3. Winterlude (2:25)
4. Simple Pleasures (13:23)
5. The Missing Floor (7:23)
6. Winterlude Waning (2:28)
7. If Only (16:26)
8. Dream Dancer (6:28)

Added: January 23rd 2022
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Band @ Bandcamp
Hits: 1151
Language: english

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