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Five Iron Frenzy - The End Is Near (Cover Artwork)

Five Iron Frenzy

Five Iron Frenzy: The End Is NearThe End Is Near (2003)
5 Minute Walk

Reviewer Rating: 5
User Rating:


Contributed by: tomatoma
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Five Iron Frenzy is an interesting band. A lot of people in the punk scene don't like them because they're Christian, yet at the same time a lot of Christians don't like them because they aren't "Christian" enough. What sets this band apart from most Christian bands to me is the way they are able to.
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Five Iron Frenzy is an interesting band. A lot of people in the punk scene don't like them because they're Christian, yet at the same time a lot of Christians don't like them because they aren't "Christian" enough. What sets this band apart from most Christian bands to me is the way they are able to write both insightful and funny lyrics without following the cliched "when we're not writing praise songs lets write songs about girls" formula laid out by a lot of other Christian punk bands. This is especially true in their latest and last release, The End Is Near.

Musically, this album sounds a lot like their last studio album, Electric Boogaloo, while at the same time blowing it away. Most of the ska elements from the band's earlier work are gone, but the horns are still there adding a distinctive sound to all the tracks, making the whole thing sound a lot more epic. Reese's vocals sound more passionate and developed here than on any other album. The whole band sounds tighter as a group now and this album is like a reflection on their time as a band and a goodbye gift to their fans.

The End Is Near starts off with "Cannonball", which is slower and heavier than most FIF work. It's not the strongest song on the album, but it does work to establish the sound and feeling of the album and works great as an opening track. The album also has some lighter tracks on it such as "At Least I'm Not Like All Those Other Old Guys" in which Reese pokes fun at himself for being old at the ripe age of 29, "Wizard Needs Food, Badly" which is like a song about being a geeky guy, kind of like "Suckerpunch" or "You Can't Handle This", and "So Far, So Bad" which pokes fun at the music industry. The album also contains some of the bands most emotional songs. "It Was Beautiful" is a reflection on the band's career and the times they spent together. "American Kryptonite" is musically one of the heaviest tracks I've heard from the band, with Reese screaming the vocals "Buy, take, break, throw it away" as a criticism of most of North American society today. Another standout track is "Farewell to Arms", which is basically aout the same issue that I started out this review with. It challenges both Christians and non-Christians alike, saying that the problem with Christianity isn't God, but the church and the way so many Christians act in general. It also reminds non-Christians that just because there are obviously a lot of problems with the current state of the church that they shouldn't judge everyone and everything "Christian" as the same. The last two tracks on the album bring everything to a climax. "That's How The Story Ends" sums up most of Five Iron Frenzy's joke songs from previous albums, answering questions like "where did Micah go?" and "who's pants are these anyway?". Anyone new to the band probably won't get the jokes, but to long time fans this song is hilarious. The last song on the album, "On Distant Shores", is quite possibly one of the best songs I have ever heard. It's a five minute anthem that is truly a great closing not only to this album, but the career of the band as well. Reese vocals sound more passionate here than on any other song on the album, building the emotion up until near the end of the song, where it suddenly breaks into the closing lines of the classic show-ender "Every New Day". I can't think of any more fitting way for them to end their last album than with this song, and it sounds better here than it ever has before.

For fans of Five Iron Frenzy it's a no-brainer, you need this album. For people not familiar with them, I would say to definitely give it a chance. It's only available at their shows or from their website until next spring, so if you can see them before their last show in November I would definitely go. I had never seen them before two weeks ago and it was one of the best shows I've ever seen, and this album hasn't left my CD player since I got it. I can't give this anything less than a 10, not only because of the album itself, but because of how perfectly it represents the career of a band of people that haven't been afraid to be who they are despite criticism thrown at them from both the punk and Christian communities. Although half of the band is still together as Brave Saint Saturn, it's just not going to be the same without the rest of Five Iron Frenzy backing them up. I'm gonna miss these guys (and girl).

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
Five Iron Frenzy - Electric BoogalooLess Than Jake - Losing StreakFugazi - Repeater + 3 SongsMxPx - Life In GeneralStreetlight Manifesto - Everything Goes NumbFugazi - In On The Kill TakermewithoutYou - Catch For Us The FoxesBad Religion - SufferGreen Day - DookieMxPx - Panic

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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.
fugazifreak (May 12, 2007)

This album desever higher than 10
FIF is one of the coolest bands ever

Anonymous (April 10, 2005)

awsome cd with great songs. who cares if they christians? it's there right!

Anonymous (May 14, 2004)

Ska is DEAD! I wish it weren't, but it is.
FIF is awesome though.

Spaztic (March 3, 2004)

This band completely kicks ass.

I saw one of their last shows, probably one of the most fun shows in my entire life. These guys are real and their music is supurb. This CD only makes me wish they weren't breaking up that much more.

Anonymous (September 22, 2003)

Skank for jesus!

Anonymous (September 19, 2003)

saw this band last night right outside of philly, but the show was in NJ. anyway, the rocked my socks off one more time.

and they played a few songs of the new cd. cant wait to listen to it at work today.

I LOVE FIVE IRON FRENZY

skaman

Anonymous (September 18, 2003)

living end? TALENTED? how so?

-duped

(just kidding)

i-type-poorly (September 18, 2003)

listened to it on the way back up to college from the show. cd of the year! well maybe not, there are one or two better than this, but the fact that this band pisses so many ignorant people off makes this the un-official cd of the year

Anonymous (September 17, 2003)

I am Jewish as well, but there are some songs that I just love, like "My Evil Plan to Save the World," and "Oh Canada." So what if I don't believe in christ, it doesn't mean I can't listen to a band. I may not agree with everything, but it still sounds good.

Anonymous (September 17, 2003)

I meant most talented musicians in the punk/ska/etc. genre. Up there with The Living End, No Use For A Name and Dance Hall Crashers, to name a few.

Anonymous (September 17, 2003)

I haven't heard anything off of here yet, but I am saddened by their soon-to-be passing. I am a HUGE FIF fan, despite the "handicap" of being Jewish. Go figure. And I disagree with everyone who says they're not the "tightest band" or the "greatest band." OK, maybe not the greatest, but definately up there. Musically, they have evolved so much and are quite possibly up there with the most talented musicians. Plus their songwriting is great. Fuck the naysayers!

sweetsugarpezz (September 17, 2003)

"and wasnt this album gonna be called "cheeses of nazereth""

that was released. it was the outakes and demos cd. come out around april.

Anonymous (September 17, 2003)

thank god the end is near for this band, so tired.

Anonymous (September 17, 2003)

religion and punk rock= DONT MIX!
and wasnt this album gonna be called "cheeses of nazereth"

mar310 (September 17, 2003)

"Christ has done amazing things through this band and the whole world benifits from their existance. "

umm...... what the fuck?

Anonymous (September 17, 2003)

"excellent
i've always said the next step towards a ska revival is the death of five iron frenzy."

thats golden.

TahoeJeff (September 16, 2003)

I dont think I could agree with the review more...this album is amazing...and pending an act of God..I will miss their last show..

Anonymous (September 16, 2003)

And of course they're being literal about the end. OH NO 2012.

Anonymous (September 16, 2003)

good review. sounds like a good record. i wasn't ever crazy about them but I will be seeing their last show.

TheMarc (September 16, 2003)

I'm going to miss these guys. "World Without End" is one of my favorite songs of all time.

Anonymous (September 16, 2003)

Five Iron Frenzy are truly a standout band. They show such amazing truth, a Christian band living a real life and making real music, a band in the punk rock community who refuse to hold themselves to anyones standard but simultaneously have become the standard for truly excellent personality and heart. Christ has done amazing things through this band and the whole world benifits from their existance. When FIF ends this year, there will never be a sufficient replacement, but there influence in both the Christian and punk rock community will never die.

Anonymous (September 16, 2003)

its really sad to see these guys go. they are such a great band! i wish them the best!

Anonymous (September 16, 2003)

Haven't heard this at all, but I gotta say, I absolutely hate when ska bands lose their ska element but keep their horns. I just end up skipping each song looking for a ska song, not finding one, and never listening to the cd again. Punk with horns sucks. RFTC are ok, but that's it.

...evildeadalive

funkisdead (September 16, 2003)

excellent
i've always said the next step towards a ska revival is the death of five iron frenzy.

sweetsugarpezz (September 16, 2003)

this album is incredible, possibly FIF's best. i will sure miss going to see them every year. : (

*emo tear*

-sweetsugarpezz

JustinsFanClub (September 16, 2003)

Why? Why do all the kick ass ska bands break up?

i-type-poorly (September 16, 2003)

Woohoo, seeing this band for the last time and getting this Cd! it'l be a night to remember.

Anonymous (September 16, 2003)

I'll kill anybody who badmouths this band. Kill like not living

Anonymous (September 16, 2003)

I fell in love with this band in 1997 when I heard the song 'Suckerpunch'. Are they the most musically tight band? No. Are they the greatest band I've ever heard? Nope. But they are some of the most nice, honest, down-to-earth fun people I've met in a band. I bought this CD off the internet, and will be seeing them twice on their last show.

ElVaquero (September 16, 2003)

oh, no, five iron frenzy! nyaaaaah... crap

Anonymous (September 16, 2003)

::sniff::

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