Further Seems Forever - Hide Nothing (Cover Artwork)

Further Seems Forever

Hide Nothing (2004)

Tooth & Nail

In the five years that I worked at a grocery store, I had the opportunity to hear some of the most annoying questions ever asked. Not a day would go by when I didn't hear someone pose a question like "Where did my car go?" or "What store am I in?" Customers would come in during the overnight shift drunk as hell and vomit on the floor. The worst was when a broken fire alarm went off for 5 straight hours. However, as high as the level of irritation was in my short career as a cashier, it all pales in comparison to being the lead singer of Further Seems Forever. You've all probably heard most of the history of this band by now. If you haven't, I suggest reading this, then this, followed by this, and just for the hell of it, play this. That'll save a bunch of space, and bring us to August 24th, 2004, where Tooth & Nail's most popular band released its third full length album "Hide Nothing", featuring their third lead singer in Jon Bunch from the now defunct Sense Field. It wasn't too long ago that ex-vocalist Jason Gleason constantly had to field a high multitude of queries pertaining to the whereabouts of Chris Carabba. Imagine being Jon Bunch; not only does he have to sing songs that he didn't write, but he has to sing songs from two different vocalists as well. Whereas Gleason had a long time before releasing an album worth of his own songs, Bunch at least has his own album out relatively quickly. And wouldn't you know it, it's not that bad. Fans dreading a drastic turn for the worse, fear not: This is still a Further Seems Forever album, and many of the band's familiar characteristics remain in place once again. Tempos change, guitars swirl, and dynamics shift from a dull roar to a soft rumble seemingly at random. The title track may be the band's greatest song since "New Year's Project", as Bunch delivers with fantastic vocals over one hell of a rock song. I must've listened to "Light Up Ahead" at least 20 times now, and I'm still singing it in my head. Anyone who doubted Bunch's ability to live up to Further Seems Forever's past work should be pleasantly surprised with this disc. However, if this album is guilty of anything, it's that some songs seem to borrow too much from the singers of the past. "Like Someone You Know" could've come right off of "How to Start a Fire", Gleason's vocals included. At many moments, it's hard to tell if the band was trying to branch out into new territory, or make a carbon copy of their last album with a new singer. If you can get past that, "Hide Nothing" is a great record, and presuming Bunch sticks around, their next album will probably be even better. I've always maintained that Further Seems Forever has the best dynamics of any band of the genre, and James Paul Wisner (Dashboard Confessional, Gatsby's American Dream) does a fantastic job of creating a very gentle atmosphere at times ("Already Gone", "All Rise"), and then when it's time to get loud, songs like "Make It A Part" deliver with force. Lyrically speaking, topics remain very positive and hopeful, and in a maneuver that will genuinely upset at least 5 readers, the word "Lord" is used several times in "For All We Know". If you go to see them live, it's very likely that two things will happen. One, someone in the crowd will undoubtedly yell, "Why aren't you Jason?" or "Are you in Dashboard Confessional?" And two, you might find yourself saying to your friends how badly Jon Bunch sings the old Further Seems Forever songs. However, there is no denying that he has made the band his own now, and he's got a solid album to prove it.