Fordirelifesake is just one of those bands that can't seem to bang out a complete full-length devoid of fillers and interludes. On their two full-lengths, Breathing In Is Only Half The Function and Dance. Pretend. Forget. Defend, we found the band displaying raw talent and energy coupled with some great ideas executed poorly. The half-assed nature of the latter of the two aforementioned albums drove me nearly crazy, as I knew this band was capable of more; one listen to any full song in Fordirelifesake's catalog will prove to even the most stubborn of music critics that this band means business. But how quickly forgetten is that Fordirelifesake also has a few split CDs and their debut EP, circumstances in which the band was less popular and less inclined to churn out twelve songs, just to throw a full-length album into the world. So here we are, with A Daydream Disaster, a remastered "rarities" (most of these songs are still readily available in their previous formats) collection featuring material off of their lesser-known efforts.
Let me begin by saying that Fordirelifesake's non-full-length material is on a completely different level than their two Thorp releases. They were simply writing better songs way back when as hardcore upstarts from Michigan. Their first self-titled EP, while juvenile, showcased the band writing less technical and over-the-top songs, concentrating more on sheer brutality. A Daydream Disaster kicks off with the original version of arguably the band's most popular song, "Four Letter Lie," and despite sickeningly maudlin lyrics ("I've given up everything for this broken heart…I tried to be your only everything"), the song, for lack of a less "scene" term, rips your face off, with its noodly lead guitar parts and quick transitions, and even ends on a lighter note for the final minute of the song (those familiar with the re-tooled version of this song will be glad to know that the ultra-cheesy female vocals found in the tail end do not appear in the original version). The destructive opener of "The Perfect Way To Cut Myself" (ignoring the self-pitying song titles would be beneficial to your enjoyment of this album) and the seven-minute "She Loves Me Not," with its anthemic shouting towards the end, lay out a nice beginning for Forfirelifesake, and proved that good things (but apparently not necessarily good music) were to come for the band.
Fordirelifesake's songs from their split with obscure Michigan indie rock band Wafflehouse are the true treat to be found on A Daydream Disaster, as they are easily the band's best work, blending technicality with pure fury and rage. "Falling For The Promise" is nothing short of mind-blowing, and "Intermission" (thankfully not resembling its title) races by at breakneck speed, making you wonder why the band stopped writing songs this good. Though the mixes of these four songs are a little sloppy, and the vocals are too far back in the mix, they offer unrelenting hardcore bliss.
You can read a review of Fordirelifesake's split with Netherland hardcore group Deluge here, and even though the remastering of these three songs sound exactly the same as the originals, they still provide a good listen. While not as good as the band's earlier work, "We Burn In Our Own Comfort" is an excellent song, while "These Nights Will Define Me" is one of the band's worst songs to date. Regardless, they keep the album moving along quite nicely (a first for Fordirelifesake), as it flows into the final two songs, "Love Song" (originally by the Cure), and "My Best Wishes," the leadoff track on For You, the tribute to the late members of Compromise, Jordan Wodehouse and Daniel Langlois, who were tragically killed in a car accident in 2002 in Alabama. The band puts their own touches on "Love Song," and it comes out as a pretty fun if not nostalgic cover song. It will garner a few listens, probably more than most covers we've all heard. Finally, "My Best Wishes" is in true recent Fordirelifesake form, with singing, crazy vocal effects, and some sort of weird industrial metal breakdown at the end. Frankly, I feel as if the song is not worth listening to, simply because it's boring, and can't stand up to the rest of this rarities compilation. During most of my times listening to this album, I end it right before this song comes on -- that should say enough.
Fordirelifesake used to be really, really good when they only had to bang out three or four songs per effort. The material found on A Daydream Disaster is simple, no-bullshit hardcore, and it works much better than the band's recent workings, which are filled with, well, bullshit. Pick this up -- combined with the recent Lawrence Arms rarities collection, it's been quite a year for efforts of this type.
- "Four Letter Lie"
- "She Loves Me Not"
- "Falling For The Promise"
- "We Burn In Our Own Comfort"
to listen to "Into What We Call Stars, For Patient Imperfections."