Fairweather - Alaska (Cover Artwork)


Alaska (2002)

Equal Vision

In nearly sexually climatical anticipation did this reviewer purchase Fairweather's Alaska. Equal Vision has hyped this release as angular and aggressive. One can picture in glee the hanging of every 14 year-old in baggy shorts and clumsily large skate shoes hang their heads, tipping their Hurley caps even more so fashionably wayward.

Buzz surrounded the much delayed release as the band feverishly toured. Upon conversing with the actual musicians, they nod in concord at the SAVES THE DAY-esque quality of the previous attempt. Citing it specifically as a production flaw, the band promises a brutal onslaught, a proverbial declaration of war upon If They Move, Kill 'em....

Dissappointment abounds.

Perhaps it was the scruff that sprinkled his neck and cheeks, the reassuring internet hype and my boyish quality of actually believing this could be an innovative release, but Alaska takes not its cues from the expected TWELVE HOUR TURN or THE BLOOD BROTHERS but vocal chops deeply influenced by AFI. The anticipated progression is limited to Line 6 Christmas presents and the realization of minor chords and time signatures outside of 4/4. At times the lyrical obscurity is forced and contrived while other times resorting to themes seeming out of place.

Nevertheless, progression is evident. The vocals are under control as the classic "balls-in-a-vise" range is well defined. The guitars have J. Robbins' signature crystal-clear crack and the new found usage of dynamic percussion carries the most solid parts of the EP.

This sophomore release overall contains no gutteral breakdowns, climatic crescendos or strong lyrical impressions. It refuses to lay down and play emo, nor does it have the bitterness and brutality to acheive the quality they claim they were striving for. The outcome is a spongy attempt at aggression, not as intelligent as Equal Vison bro's COHEED AND CAMBRIA, and lacking the machismo of label mates TIME IN MALTA.

May FAIRWEATHER realize their flaws and take the necessary steps to progress in the humble opinion of the reviewer: increased focus on structure and songmanship and less cake fatty.