Further Seems Forever - How To Start A Fire (Cover Artwork)

Further Seems Forever

Further Seems Forever: How To Start A FireHow To Start A Fire (2003)
Tooth & Nail Records

Reviewer Rating: 3
User Rating:

Contributed by: maverickScott
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Further Seems Forever has had quite the rough go of it. Losing their original singer Chris Carrabba to the greener pastures of Dashboard Confessional after their debut album had been recorded but not yet released really put a big wrench in their plans of being a band. So even though new singer Jas.
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Further Seems Forever has had quite the rough go of it. Losing their original singer Chris Carrabba to the greener pastures of Dashboard Confessional after their debut album had been recorded but not yet released really put a big wrench in their plans of being a band. So even though new singer Jason has been in the band for roughly 2 years now, he still gets called "the new guy." And it can't be easy on him - the band has been road dogs these past 2 years, playing hundreds of shows a year. This guy has to go up night after night and basically do karaoke for 45 minutes, singing songs that someone else wrote. "How To Start A Fire" is the first time Jason has been allowed to put pen to paper, and while I'm sure he's mighty proud of his work, he's going to have a lot of people to answer to.

Further Seems Forever's debut album is seemingly in permanent constant rotation in my stereo. I view that album as capturing lightning in a bottle - it was 5 guys who had been kicking around in the Florida music scene for some time, and when they all got together wrote some incredibly powerful, highly emotional, and fairly original music. Then they lose their singer, as well as the less-known loss of one of their guitarists as well as their other guitarist deciding not to tour anymore, forcing the band to hire a touring guitarist [who strangely is in all the promotional material for this release but who's actual name is nowhere to be seen]. This leaves the band with not only a new personality behind the mic, but also providing the guitar sounds that this band is so known for delivering.

This is a lot of pressure for a second album.

So how did the band do? Not bad. Not amazing, not great, but not bad. "How To Start A Fire" is going to be this band's breakthrough album, I'll bet, but I know they can do better and I can't wait to hear it. Tracks like the title track as well as "Pride War" conjur up images of the first album, with relentless drums matched up against arpeggiated guitar lines flying over each other. "The Deep" really showcases Jason's much wider vocal range than Chris ever had, allowing him to, more or less wail the word "excuses" over and over again. It's some powerful stuff.

The album is spotty, though. The first single, "The Sound," just sounds too sterile; it's like a band influenced by Further Seems Forever wrote the song, not the band themselves. This feeling of deja vu tends to creep up throughout the album; you know you've heard this stuff before by the same band, and yet it doesn't sound nearly as good this time.

Jason really is a better fit for this band vocally than Chris, as his powerful throat soars over the instruments in tracks like "On Legendary." I just feel like it's all a bit forced from the band overall. I know the point of being in a band for a lot of people is to achieve some sort of success, but most artists try to keep some sort of artistic merit while going down this journey of accomplishment. I'm not calling the band sellouts, as they still seem to be true to what they do, but you can't deny that the raw passion on "The Moon is Down" really doesn't show up here except for a few spots on this CD.

Basically I'm still pretty torn on this CD. It's been getting a lot of play from me recently, and I like it more and more with each listen, but something still is rubbing me the wrong way about it. I'll recommend this to fans of the band, but if you've never heard this band before now, check out "The Moon Is Down" first so you can see where the band has come from before you see where the band is going.

Let's just hope they can recapture that lightning for the next time around.

The Sound
Pride War

The Sound

Stream the whole CD here.


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Anonymous (September 11, 2004)

further seems forever did great with chris at the helm. however chris did whine alot on his record but new years project is one of the best songs that fsf still plays. musically further has gotten so much tighter just listen to pride war or how to start a fire all three guitars (you know two guitar one bass) are doing something different and the lyrics are so much more indepth. i liked the moon is down i thought the band had so much to strive for but how to start a fire is the pinical that they should have come out with. i was extremely bummed out when jason left the band his voice stands out among all the singers in our time and i know he will surely be missed. jon bunch from sencefield is a good singer but there is no way that he will be able to fill the shoes of chris let along come anywhere near the shoes of jason. however i am still 100% a fan that will never leave furthers side.

Anonymous (July 18, 2004)

The only reason i would buy this cd is if the world ran out of toilet paper, then it would come in handy. For that i give it 1 star.

Anonymous (May 13, 2004)

Gleason wanted to be Chris so bad it was pouring through his teeth. Carrabba's vocals on The Moon Is Down are so original and outstanding that if he stayed with the band the sky would have been the limit. Monachetti, Snowbirds and Townies, and every other song on the album are incredible and signature. Emo or not, The Moon Is Down is one of the most influencial albums in rock period. Jason Gleason didn't have a chance going up against Carrabba's technique. It was clear when he and Further had to play hundreds of shows making dogshit for their efforts. With Chris, the band would have been playing sold out venues at the highest levels months into the tour. Now they have this Jon Bunch fellow. Further should quit while they're ahead. Save yourselves guys, you lost two singers already and I wouldn't be suprised if this one goes too. They should be a little more supportive of their fans, because even after Carrabba I stood strong. Now I see the truth.

Anonymous (March 2, 2004)

oh i get it..."on legendary," like "Hey guys, 'Halo' is really hard on legendary." brilliant.

Anonymous (November 27, 2003)

Why don't all you punk as fuck kids go get shitfaced and listen to the casualties rather than bitching about how bad emo bands are?

Anonymous (November 27, 2003)

Um, if emo sucks so much and you're so "punk rock", how come you're reading a Further Seems Forever review? Oh ok, that's what I thought.

Anonymous (July 4, 2003)

for you fuckin idiots talking about emonews.org, emo is a branch/sub-genre of punk so it all fits in nicely, and if you're an emo basher stop being so fuckin close minded, i think emo is 100x's better than all that politipunk shit only talking about how fucked the government is when they dont take any action against it... unlike Anti-Flag who actually try to make a difference, one more reason why AF is one of the few politipunk bands i listen to

Anonymous (May 6, 2003)

emonews.orgOoops, they don't exist yet!

Anonymous (May 6, 2003)

Someone please tell me why this shit is on PUNKnews.org. I agree with that kid... there should be an emonews.org. I mean what the fuck is happening to punk nowadays? these whiney emo kids don't even realize that they woulndt have their precious music if not for us punks. No Respect!

Anonymous (April 17, 2003)

i think they should make an emonews.org so all you kids can go over there instead of planting your trash on this site

Anonymous (March 11, 2003)

I think this review hits the nail on the head.The sound really does sound like a band trying to sound like further.I believe this is one of the best bands out now.Anyone who knocks them really doesn't know what they are talking about.I see only better things in the future.Its too bad that most people will hear this album first instead of the moon is down which i think will go down as one of the best albums of all time,at least in my book.I wish people would stop comparing them or putting them in a catorgory with taking back sunday and bands like that cuz further is on a whole nother level.much love to taking back sunday but u can't even compare the two.

Anonymous (March 10, 2003)

Those emo-bands just suck

Anonymous (March 2, 2003)

Go to: www.fsfboard.tk

Anonymous (March 1, 2003)

i don't know if its just me but jason sounds just like jeff buckley. good shit, great voice, as good if not better than carrabas'. but it still isnt very filling. tracks 5 and 6 are kinda filler, and that sux cuz theres only 10 songs on the whole album. but overall its still very good, but i've heard better within the whole 'math rock screamo post hardcore etc' genre.

Anonymous (February 21, 2003)

wheres the bathroom?

Anonymous (February 20, 2003)

Great cd, 50 million times better than the moon is down, Jason is atleast that much better than Chris at every part of being a frontman

Anonymous (February 18, 2003)

this album is more bland than staring at miles of highway while going through nebraska.

inagreendase (February 17, 2003)

aurora borealis sounds so much like u2 its scary. if bono did the vocals on this song i wouldn't have been surprised. altogether an alright album, not too poppy most of the time but just weird more of the time.

sweetsugarpezz (February 17, 2003)

pretty solid album, and although i've only had it for a week its had to have gotten 20 spins in my cd player. i agree that jason had alot of expectations, and i think he filled those sufficiently, finally stepping out of chris carraba's shadow. i also think jason's voice is more diverse and definatly fits right in with the band's sound.
in my opinion, this album has a different feel to it then "the moon is down", but definatly a great forward progression of this band. can't wait to see them live in march with elliot!!
later on kiddies,

maverick (February 17, 2003)

The Rise sucks so much.



Kurt_F (February 17, 2003)

"catching fruits of our labors"

Um, I totally understood what that meant.

By the way, I saw them last night, and of course Elliot was good, Early November was bland, but the other supporting band...I was caught off guard by: The Rise.

Holy crap.

If you appreciate Refused, please check these guys out. Lots of artsy hardcore without the cookie monster voice and a lot of techno break beat sampling. Stellar. Now fire up those ICQ and Kazaa search engines...you will thank yourself.

What a great tour.

travis (February 16, 2003)

I wouldnt say that we are kidding ourselves. I think this album is pretty darn great. I don't think the lyrics are bad, in fact, i find them good. Its a matter of personal opinion.

and in other news, the new aereogramme album is fucking badass.

Kid_Dynamite (February 16, 2003)

not amazing but decent! good review.

Anonymous (February 16, 2003)

I hate this damn band. all you people would not love them if that one dashboard kid wasn't in the band either!

Anonymous (February 16, 2003)

The people who have posted comments on this board are kidding themselves. I have been waiting for it seems to long to hear this record. The music is better produced. It sounds like it was written to obtain more of an audience, which is not a bad thing. I was also suprised by Jasons voice. The melodies are put together well but I also noticed in the liner notes that he had a vocal coach for the album. His lyrics are horrible though. They are by far too much of an attempt of nothing. The words don't flow and they mean nothing. Chris Carrabba lyrically blew Jason away. His captured all of what he was feeling and wrote it perfectly and it made people feel something too. Instead of "catching fruits of our labors" which makes no sense and sounds like he's trying really hard to promote his stupidity.

worstxintentions (February 16, 2003)

this album is amazing! go out and buy it.

maverick (February 16, 2003)

The reason I gave it a 6 instead of a 7 is this: I like to think that anything that I rate a 7 or higher is worth purchasing by anyone, anytime. A 6 means that it's good and I enjoyed it, but it's just not for everyone.

Hope that clears that up a bit.


Anonymous (February 16, 2003)

i was not ready for this record. i just got it today and it blew me away. jason's vocals are WAY better than chris's on the last record. the music is much more dynamic and the recording is awesome.
really, really solid record.

waste_elite (February 16, 2003)

and on a totally unrelated note

i had the misfortune of hearing the new ataris song on the radio today. these guys are failing miserably at trying to be jawbreaker.

soulbleed (February 15, 2003)

while for the most part, i agree with scott, i must say that this album deserves a teeny bit better than 3 stars. maybe 3 1/2, or so. the songs are catchy, musically up to par with that of their older record, and everything else is fine - the only reason it's not a 4 star or better record is because of mr. affinity. the expectations were too high, give him a friggin break. this is a classic case of having to follow up a near perfect album (and while its better than 99% of all the other albums in the genre, it's still not as good as their previous work so we're going to flame it 40x over)' .. :P

Kurt_F (February 15, 2003)

And let me remind everyone it was a compilation.

Oh, I'm also seeing them tonight with Elliot.

Anonymous (February 15, 2003)

let me remind everyone that they covered nsync. g'day!

Kurt_F (February 15, 2003)

I really didn't care for Pride War and The Sound when they were released a few months ago, but I've really grown into them. The title track is awesome, but I agree this album is spotty, but I'm sure I'll really like it after awhile. I didn't like every song of The Moon Is Down when I first heard it either, but now it's one of my top 5 albums ever. Give it a chance people.

Anonymous (February 15, 2003)

boo fuckin hoo

Anonymous (February 15, 2003)

I really liked "the moon is down" and I used to listen to it over and over. Now I'm into aggressive punk again (fuckin' f-minus rules). When I feel like listening to sad music I'll pick this up.

Anonymous (February 15, 2003)

It's not a terrible album but it's not great either. I do say this: Jason Gleason is better vocalist than Chris in FSF history. All in all, the same band noise you'll find at Tooth and Nail. The sampler that came with the CD just sounds like 40 mintues of monotonous crap.


Anonymous (February 15, 2003)


Anonymous (February 15, 2003)

i havent heard this yet, but everyone seems to say its average. i really digged the moon is down for awile, but overtime i really only like half of it. i mean 'snowbirds and townies' and 'new years' are amazing. as is the title track. but their is some lackluster songs, but all have their technical musicianship merits. i will be interested to hear this album. i hear jason definately more than fills carrabas shoes.

Anonymous (February 14, 2003)


Jesus! Jesus! Jesus!

TheBouncingSoul (February 14, 2003)

right on the money scott....thats what i've been saying, its good, but spotty

Anonymous (February 14, 2003)

I disagree. I wasn't to excited but this CD, but still got it, and I can't stop listening. The songs still have the same epic feel as the last album, but there's just more good music. The Moon is Down had about 5 really amazing songs, and the rest were just kinda boring in my opinion. Chris was a great singer for the band, but I totally agree that Jason fits the music better, and the lyrics are very well written. Better album and band this time around.

bruceless (February 14, 2003)

Nice review.

Not sure if I want to pick this one up yet, though. I've never really gotten used to Jason over Chris, I have to admit.

Anonymous (February 14, 2003)

i liked chris fronting the band, now he's singing to his dashboard. i don't really care for this new cd but i'll give them two stars for effort

Anonymous (February 14, 2003)

this release is more mature. Music wise and lyric wise.

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