e s s a y s r e c o r d l i v e i n t e r c o l u m n s A-D E-J K-N O-S T-Z
H o m e
w r i t i n g b a n d a u t h o r a u d i o l i n k c o n t a c t a b o u t
Celeb Head


learn



Record
  • Young Antiques -12.04
  • Silent Kids -12.04
  • Terminal Band -12.04
  • Almost Contagious -12.04
  • ROBBERS -12.03
    Essay
  • The Better Half -12.17

  • To receive a friendly email update each time we post a new article, enter your email addy below.

    questions or concerns.


    [ Wicked Farleys ]


    Wicked Farleys are the Antidote for Your Mental Doldrums!

    You think you've heard it all. You think you've experienced all the highs, lows, ups, downs, weaving centipedes and spiraling airplanes of emotion that amazing music has to offer. Its all been done already. Any amazing phoneme you can uncover can easily be traced back to an original source. All there is to say has been said. All there is to do has been done. Put down that guitar and four-track now; kiss creativity and originality goodbye; try something else; nothing you do can possibly be new. Rock is dead....?

    NO.

    Take a ride to the chilly Northeast. Ignore the signs that say "Aerosmith wuz heer"; Skip past the New Kids and go directly to THESE new kids... the Wicked Farleys. "You aint heard nuthin' yet, Charlie!"

    Strike that opening paragraph, redo the syntax, negate the statements... it hasn't ALL been done; originality IS alive and well; your mind is STILL capable of being blown. These four young men from Fitchburg are here to demonstrate that searing hot cutting edge soundscapes and a blazing inferno of performance perfection can spring from somewhere other than DC or Chi-town or Chapel Hill.

    Two guitars, a bass, drums and voice + some assorted bits and pieces; spices and seasoning for the basic meat and potatoes. A stew guaranteed to send you into a tizzy, guaranteed to make you dance (my God! How long has it been since ANY band has made you do that?!?), guaranteed to send you reaching for your thesaurus, scrambling for enough unique superlatives to properly convey just how special this music makes you feel. The English language is far too limited to impart how wonderful the Wicked Farleys' music is... but many have tried and many still try.

    A review of their explosive 1998 Rumble set put it simply this way: "The Wicked Farleys use way more chords, rhythms, off-tonic bass notes, tempo and time signature shifts, dissonance, pure noise and experimentation than tonight's other bands-- and that was just the first song!" The reviewer goes onto state, "WF's mix of intensity, goofiness and a smart aversion to repetition make them the boldest, most interesting band of the night."

    Pick up Sentinal and Enterprise, their debut album on Big Top Records... it grabs you by the throat immediately with shrieking noise ushering in a cacophony of chordal chaos. Edgar Varese, the avant-garde composer who was a big idol of Frank Zappa's, composed music less interested in melody and harmony and more concerned with density, rhythm and sound... ANY sound. He used armies of percussion; he employed brass sections to sound out thick dense chords in conjuncture with the battery; he exploited the wide ranges and sonarities present in the extreme reaches of a woodwind section to splatter color across the musical canvas like streaks of blood and chunks of dismembered human tissue. What better term could be applied to this form of music making than his own: musique concrete.

    The Wicked Farleys do this with rock music; they create vast constructs of thick sound; they make full use of time and its many divisions. What emerges is majestic, maddening, mindblowing, more, moRE, MORE than you can take. Relentless energy, an understated vocal delivery, fuel for a fire devouring a log, chomping and munching until it subsides... only to be reawakened by someone pouring gasoline over it and igniting the fury once more.

    An average joe might call it noise. A slightly more sophisticated music listener might call it overkill (too many ideas at once). Not everyone gets it. One reviewer complained, "There are lots of quirky time changes and just when it sounds like they've found a good groove, the rhythms take a 180 degree turn. They need to find a melody and stick with it"

    The Farleys are too busy being pioneers to worry about that. "Finding a melody" has already been done. "Sticking to a groove" is what everyone expects you to do. Instead, these fellows are taking the basic components of a rock song, segmenting it off neatly (or sometimes not so neatly) with a blunt scalpel, an unexact X-Acto knife and reassembling the cut up carcass in a new configuration; they are rearranging the helixes of ribonucleic acid strands that make up music and are creating new creatures; distorted and disfigured; strangely beautiful mutants, wholly unique and frighteningly real.

    Beauty abounds amidst the brutal soundscape. Vocal melodies of a gentle and compelling nature reach out to you; the voice of reason amidst the insanity. But, to paraphrase John Entwhistle, "Insanity is fun if THIS is the way its done". Negative reviewer must have been too busy depressing their ears with cotton and their senses with alcohol to miss the copious amounts of groove offered by the Wicked Farleys. Track 2, My Office, turns the spotlight onto the bass and drums. Elsewhere on the disc, the bass is another component of color in the chords; not easily excised but still equally essential. Here, however, it is front and center laying down one of the thickest, quickest, clickenist grooves with a capital Geez if you please! To me the album truly begins with this song. Track one with its Vareseian concrete chords are the coming attractions; Track two is the opening credits of a motion picture without a provided visual medium... save for your mind's recently reawoken imagination.

    Things are never what they appear with this music. But then things aren't what they appear up in Boston either. Praise and homage is extended to the great spawning grounds elsewhere in these United States but the New England area is highly ignored. Yet these young men (and I DO mean Young) are instigating a quiet revolution of immense proportions and reworking the definitions of rock in new and challenging ways. This music truly defies categorization. It is highly original. The Wicked Farleys are the most exciting band in Boston today. They are one of the most musically mindblowing groups in the country. Any jaded cynic who has lost their faith in rock need only to witness this band live or to pick up their releases to replenish their empty well. A thirst for your mind? Here's a feast for your heart. The Wicked Farleys fulfill. Welcome back, listener...

    Written By: Sir Brian C.