Far from Finished / Left Alone - Split (Cover Artwork)

Far from Finished / Left Alone

Split (2006)

Do Tell

This split delivers four songs from Far from Finished and four from Left Alone. Each band gives us three originals and one cover, and both are good in their own right but the transition from Far from Finished to Left Alone is like going from a Guinness to a Bud Light. Far from Finished delivers a full wall of sound (stout) while the Left Alone songs sound almost demo quality (fill in your own comment about Bud Light here).

Far from Finished start things off with a kickin' amped up version of "Bastard's Way" from their Eastside of Nowhere debut album. Their next song "Fight Back" is my favorite from this split. Good message + rockin' music = great sing-along to help you fight through the shitstorms of your day. "Untitled" is a solid straight-ahead rock/punk tune that shows the band maturing musically from their debut album. Next they cover Elvis Costello's "Radio, Radio" and do a great job. They keep the original version's beautiful simplicity but intensify the power of the song with a heavier rhythm section. The only thing I would have changed is to make the organ more pronounced cause "You gotta rock that organ, baby!"

Left Alone is up next with "9 to 5." It is a good little ska-punk number. Definitely reminds me of something that could have come from the Rudiments / Suicide Machines split or really off of anything from a Beach Recordings release from the mid-`90s (obscure reference). On their next song "Something New," which is one of my favorite tunes from this band and that includes their material from Broken Hearts and Lonely Upstarts, the Rancid comparisons (that is the band, not the putrid lunch meat, but some of you will say that they are one in the same) can not be more evident. It is a really good song and if the lyrics were a bit more unintelligible, this could be one of those great Rancid / Operation Ivy songs that is only available as some unreleased demo. "Darkroom" follows and the ska is forgotten and replaced with a more punk sound á la early Lookout! Records / Bay Area before Punk Part II changed the music landscape. Left Alone end the split with their version of the Smiths' "Panic." A great song but this version is only OK as it is too rushed and sloppy.

All in all, the Far from Finished side has four solid tunes and Left Alone gives you two great songs and two that are so-so. Definitely worth getting and I am looking forward to hearing new full-lengths from both bands.