Chris Farren - Where U Are [7-inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Chris Farren

Where U Are [7-inch] (2015)

Boyfriend Island

Chris Farren has taken time out from being a punk celebrity and dear friend to the stars to unleash Where U Are, a trio of songs recorded during Fake Problems’ Australian tour with the Gaslight Anthem. It’s a quick, fun listen that will surely satisfy fans of Farren and his prior releases. Apparently tossed off with a certain measure of spontaneity, the EP feels polished and complete, despite being very brief. Farren’s recent collaborations with Jeff Rosenstock also seems to have rubbed off on him stylistically, adding a satisfying dynamism and roughness around the edges to his music.

While certainly lo-fi compared to much of Fake Problems’ output, Where U Are hints that Farren is headed in a direction very much in line with that of Antarctigo Vespucci. Opening song “Where U Are” is an energetic song in the breezy, garage-dwelling vein of Wavves, and features as catchy of a chorus as you’re likely to hear all week. “Evaporate” at times sounds like one of the Cure’s poppier songs, though the energy helps to keep things fresh and modern. The final song, “Permanent For Me”, features a definite change of tone, downshifting to a much more melancholy, introspective vibe. It is a solid, somber number that will leave you wishing there were more than three songs on Where U Are. And just like that, the EP is finished -- short but sweet, and leaving listeners wanting more, a reaction all great EPs are meant to evoke.

I see very little chance of fans of Antarctigo Vespucci or Fake Problems being disappointed by the three songs presented on Where U Are. It follows the trajectory he’s been on in recent days, while tossing enough fresh elements into the mix to keep it fresh.