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    [ Wicked Farleys ]

    Long Live the Wicked Farleys (1994-2000)

    Cinderella might have said it best. In the words of their classic cut from the 'Long Cold Winter' LP: "(You) Don't know what you got 'till its gone".

    Ok, Cheap laughs aside, I'm still super bummed. Two weeks ago, the Wicked Farleys gave their last public performance. They've decided to hang up their "Trying Shoes" and put an end to a career which began six years ago at Fitchburg High School. After two amazing albums, a splendid EP, two 7"'s, as well as a few national tours, the Farleys shall rock no more.

    The Wicked Farleys were a very important band to me. Not only was I in love with their music, I was also insanely jealous of their unending ability. They succeeded on so many levels where my own music groups had failed. They were THE best band in Boston. I caught them live more than any other band up here. Noone else could touch them. Their demise creates a huge void that is impossible to fill.

    I moved up here in September of 1998. Before I left, a good friend mentioned that he had seen this amazing Boston band in New York and that I should keep my eyes open for them. It wasn't hard. The very first record store I went to had TWO seperate magazines with feature stories on them. It was enough to spur me into picking up their CD, Sentinal and Enterprise. I was struck immediately (that piercing whirr, that mess of chords). My Office with its opening bass hook was my first favorite track. It took me a while to work through the rest of the CD but seeing them live provided more understanding. Eventually I got to know the entire record and its unquestionable greatness.

    I have a few fond live memories of the Farleys, starting with the first time: An absolutely KILLER bill at TT the Bear's with Vic Firecracker, the Dismemberment Plan and Burning Airlines! What more can be said? Another great gig was what I called 'the Ultimate Math-Rock' night at the Middle East; WF's headlining over Jetpack and Lynx (two other missed groups). My jaw was slack the entire night but after all that time-signature travelling in one setting, I went home and listened to nothing but The Stooges and Clutch for several weeks afterward. The first time I saw them with Vanessa was last summer at the Milky Way. They did Love Squats and I just bit my lip and shook my head; it was EXACTLY what they had been missing: another voice. I knew that all the ingrediants were in place to take them to another level. A month for so later, my friend and I witnessed this higher level downstairs at the Middle East. That night, the Wicked Farleys ripped shit up SO well, that we didn't even bother sticking around to see the headlining Blonde Redhead. We walked out, opting to quit while we were ahead. We knew anything afterward would just be a letdown.

    A great thing about the Farleys was that you never knew what their set would comprise. Love Squats and Dig the Ring were the only real givens. Anything else was up for grabs. I remember finally seeing them do You, Avatar (my favorite song with its descending 7ths and extended feedback fraught finale), Floor By Floor (with its impossible opening), Autonomish (with its multiple feels) and Oppurtune (with its longing vocals and aching harmony) at various times. I even once saw them do How's My Driving, from the lesser known split 7" with Vehicle Birth. It was a song I didn't much care for on record but completely rocked live.

    Each time these Farleys ventured out on a tour, I always urged my Garden State cronies to catch them But various circumstances prevented that from happening. After awhile, I even started missing shows here and there, figuring the new record would lead to a big tour, maybe Southern or DeSoto and a long career beyond. They're still young, I thought to myself, they'll be around for years...

    I guess my central message in this whole thing is not JUST to tell those of you out there who never got the chance to see them what you may have missed. What I'd really like to say is that there is a band like this EVERYWHERE in this country. They may even be right in your town. The Wicked Farleys met like any other band meets; in high school, at some party in a basement, where two kids who play guitar get to talking... Their music is wonderful stuff but it was not produced by eccentric geniuses. It was composed by people like you and I; suburban kids, super into music, bored by the popular trends, ignoring the rules and doing what sounds cool and feels right. There are other bands out there like this, probably around the corner from you. Bands that can inspire and awe you with their creativity. Seek them out. Support them. You don't know how long you have before they're gone...


    if you can't find such a scene or such a group as this, BE THAT GROUP! Seriously, you've gone to enough shows, read enough books and listened to enough records. Make It IT, as the Farleys said. Don't wait for cool shit to happen. Do It Yourself!

    Written By: Sir Brian C.