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Farside - The Monroe Doctrine (Cover Artwork)

Farside

Farside: The Monroe DoctrineThe Monroe Doctrine (1999)
Revelation Records

Reviewer Rating: 4.5
User Rating:


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

There's a reason that in a 2006 issue of Alternative Press, the head of Revelation Records placed Farside's The Monroe Doctrine among the top five albums the label has ever released. What I can't understand is how this album seems to have slipped off the radar and into relative obscurity. While the .
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There's a reason that in a 2006 issue of Alternative Press, the head of Revelation Records placed Farside's The Monroe Doctrine among the top five albums the label has ever released. What I can't understand is how this album seems to have slipped off the radar and into relative obscurity. While the rest of the band's output was good for what it was, The Monroe Doctrine is one of the best albums of the nineties, one that seems to nod to everything from melodic punk/hardcore to indie rock and even post-punk.

For starters, the vocals are fantastic. Guitarists Popeye and Kevin Murphy take turns at the lead, and it only serves to make things more interesting. I'm not sure the album would be as enjoyable if it were 17 tracks with one singer, but with two, I'm very glad they didn't truncate the album to give it a more traditional play length.

The lyrics are hard to beat, too. I was introduced to this album by the appearance of "I Hope You're Unhappy" on the soundtrack to "Godmoney" (a film by Darren Doane). The sheer earnestness in self-referencing lyrics like "and Farside's writing a new LP" only lends honesty to other lines like "I know your children will be beautiful, but I don't ever want to know that they exist at all‚?¶And I hope that you're unhappy to be alone." As well, I am flat out amazed by lines like, "Pebbles fall into my hands. I'm aware of what that means: that the walls are crumbling on my battered head. If ignorance is blissfulness, that must make me a genius. Yet, somehow, I just can't seem to agree. Someone told me I'm just paying dues, and then I said, ‚??How much do I have to spend?'" Honestly, I'd like to write every lyric from this whole album here, but I'll just ask you to suffer me one more quote. This one is from "The Fashionable Rebellion," which is, at 2:23, one of the shorter songs on the album, and that's not a bad thing at all.

Scream the saddest song you know.
Cry as if the world is ending.
Try convincing me that's what you want.
Wear my scars out on my sleeve, because I'm at that age.
We're all from the suburbs, and that's okay.
I'm sure you had it bad. Everybody wants to say that.
But I'm just not that impressed with socially accepted anger.
So don't raise another flag simply for the sake of fashion, because right now, we're just wasting up the air.
The diversity of this album is incredible, too. The songs range from slow and sympathetic ("I Hope You're Unhappy," "The Slowdance") to fast and very angry ("Teach Me How to Die," "Bled"), yet the contrast only serves to add importance to each song. The aforementioned diversity, however, is also one of the few weak points of the album. There are a handful of songs --from joke song "The Lonesome Ballad of El Bobo the Cranky," "Liz Hurley," which sounds like a riff they couldn't develop into a song but wanted to use anyway, and "Save It for the Children," which sounds like a joke song with its death metal growl, but may, indeed, be serious -- that bring the album down, if only momentarily.

But the musicianship of this album makes up for any missteps anywhere else. The Monroe Doctrine is one of the best examples of what a band can do if they really try. Every instrument -- bass, guitar, drums and vocals -- does exactly what it needs to do every second of this disc. Even the folksy cover of Graham Parker's "Blue Highway" doesn't seem out of place (and it also manages to show off how amazing Popeye's voice is).

It may have taken Farside five years to put this album out, but they clearly spent every moment making it the best it could be. It took Dear You a few years to become revered as the perfect album it is. It's possible that this album, someday, will get its due as well. Go get this album now. You will not regret it.

 

 
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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.
picoyzorra13 (July 16, 2009)

hey guys!
have anybody this album's lyrics? im looking for them since long time ago but i cant find it. can somebody send it to me please? thanx!
grettings from chle, south america

(sorry for my awful english, in my country we spea spanish)

Anonymous (May 16, 2007)

This is by far one of the best albums ever release, not just on Revelation. It's one of the only albums that always stays on my mp3 player, stays in my car, stays on my computer, etc. Just absolutely amazing.

Scruffy (May 15, 2007)

Too bads Shades Apart's last album blew unbelievable goats. At least they had the sense to realize it and pack it in.

Anonymous (May 15, 2007)

This is the greatest from FARSIDE. Rev has anyway the greatest bands in post hardcore in the 90's: SENSE FIELD, TEXAS IS THE REASON, WHIRLPOOL, SHADES APART...

Anonymous (May 14, 2007)

after spending more and more time with this album i do have one complaint. a few of the songs seem to drag on past their due point, very much like fifteen's choice of a new generation album. the soungs would be beyond amazing instead of just merely amazing if they stopped at about the 3 minute mark

SloaneDaley (May 14, 2007)

J Dilla's remix of Runnin' is one of my favourite songs ever. To be on topic I saw a 7-inch of this band at one of my local record shops, I hope it is still there when I go next.

bigeazy (May 14, 2007)

Iz tha song 'Runnin' on this album?

Anonymous (May 13, 2007)

I always like Rochambeau, but never checked out anything else by them.
--Cos

skolarx (May 13, 2007)

ya mama is good for a joke song but passing me by will always be my favorite pharcyde song

Narm (May 12, 2007)

This is a crazy good album, but I still like Rigged more and find myself going back to that one the most of their catalog.

Though, Boiling Over is my favorite Farside song.

And my favorite Pharcyde song is Ya Mama.

skolarx (May 12, 2007)

i finally got this record the other day. hope that you're unhappy is one of the best songs i've ever herad (though i had heard it frist on hte godmoney soundtrack). incredible stuff here, everyone should check this out if you haven't already

jacktheskipper (May 12, 2007)

I still like Rigged a little more, but just because I listened to it in a time of my life that had a lot of meaning to me and the album always reminds me ... this record really is a gem ... Popeye is now playing guitar in Jeff Caudills (Gameface) band and doing backups ...

Anonymous (May 12, 2007)

"ignaurus" by into another has got to be one of the great under-rated records of all time. good christ. if you're into 90s revelation bands, do yourself a favor and check that shit out.

Anonymous (May 11, 2007)

A really amazing album. A little dated today, but some of the songs are all-time greats. Also, this album has the greatest sad breakup song ever.

rinjonjori (May 11, 2007)

I would say that i come across one song from this album every couple of months and am inpsired to listen to the rest of the album. This was a quality group that didn't force their output. Theymight be gone, but they put out quality not quantity.

dialoguefromamovie (May 11, 2007)

"statues of snow" is one of my all-time favorite songs.

-dave.

halfcutskeleton (May 11, 2007)

I never heard this album, but Rigged was great. I kind of forgot about this band but now I'm going to seek it out.

Scruffy (May 11, 2007)

I wrote this review a long time ago. I'm really glad to see that I'm still proud of it, though, if I had it to do again, it'd probably be twice as long. This is one of the best albums ever kids. Up there with Dear You, The Greatest Story Ever Told, Reconstruction Site, Perfecting Loneliness and others of the ilk from the past ten or fifteen years.
Thanks for all the compliments, by the way. I'm glad everyone likes it, and it makes my day to see so many other people who love this album. I don't know if I've ever met someone in person who even knew about Farside. This is tragic. Everyone should know about them because of this album.

Anonymous (May 11, 2007)

Popeye's first band was Borderline I believe. This album is great. Nice review, definitely nailed the "weak" points. I love the record, the diversity is phenomenal, a couple tracks may catch you off guard.

Anonymous (May 11, 2007)

not the head of revelation, it was their A&R guy. the 5 was the way it is comp, gorilla biscuits, into another ignaurus, youth of today we're not in this alone and this. great record.

harry_the_dentist (May 11, 2007)

I love this album. I think you nailed the only weak points for me when I listen to it as well. Although every now and then I have fun listening to El Bobo El Bobo. Again great album. To the first person who said he still hasn't checked this album out, do it.

Anonymous (May 11, 2007)

Revelation is fucking awesome

Anonymous (May 11, 2007)

one of the greatest records i own. im happy to see it on this site. i understand why your are putting lyrics down on review. the lyrics are what does it for me. i skate to this. i drive to this. i sleep to this. i play this and everyone of the other records by farside on a daily basis. finally got the 12" scrap. what was the name of popeyes first band. i think it was on conversion records?

incetardis (May 11, 2007)

definitely one of the best records of all time. at least for me. i used to listen to farside since 1993... and was totally blown away by this LP six years later. too bad it turned out to be their swan song.

Anonymous (May 11, 2007)

I dig this much more as I've aged. Really great record.

wyzo

Anonymous (May 11, 2007)

ahhh fucking men.

one of the greatest releases in the rev catalogue and one of my favorite bands since the mid-90's. popeye had one of the most recognizable and stellar voices goin' and somehow was always able to deliver melody without losing a certain level of raw emotion and intensity. even the most down-trodden of songs on here come forward with an honesty and integrity that's truly lacking in much of today's "emotional" music. before the skinny jeans, before expensive haircuts, before you even knew what punk rock, hardcore, and everything derivative of those afformentioned genres even was...

this is an era that's been lost... gone are the likes of farside, jawbreaker, husker du, shades apart, and the list goes on.

pretty sad actually.

Anonymous (May 11, 2007)

this is one of those records that i'm always meaning to check out and then never do. maybe i will one of these fine days.

what were the other record in jordan revelation's top 5? TITR and GB, right? what else?

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