Wayfarer - Our Fathers (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Our Fathers (2010)


You're setting some unreasonably high expectations for punk fans when you name yourself after one of Hot Water Music's best songs. Well, actually, I don't really know for sure if Kitchener, ON, act Wayfarer did that. But with the band playing scruffy, slower and down-tuned melodic punk, it seems all too probable. The band's first LP, Our Fathers, is by no means a Caution, but hopefully it's as promising as Forever and Counting would prove to be.

"Our Names" is a by-the-numbers bout of slightly Americana-tinged melodic punk, but it's got a modest, warm recording and lovable quality about it that makes it enjoyable. "Watch You Bloom" starts with a slower earnestness that reminds me of Iron Chic's '90s emo-punk channeling (Samiam or whatever), and it goes down that path all the way for its mid-tempo course, but with a few extra homeland (if they weren't from Canada, anyway) riffs to make it stand out more uniquely.

Further moments of restraint and reflection come in "Still Eyes," which beams with a promise that may never be realized considering the band's recent announcement they'd be dialing down their activity. It builds with a slightly rustic, emotional resonance that could come from Lucero's playbook if it was more alt-country and drawling. Instead, it's more like a rougher-hewn take on Attack in Black's balladry à la "If All I Thought Were True" (sharing a member with Mockingbird Wish Me Luck, that makes sense), and it's a solid foundation the band often use for much of Our Fathers. Following it, the patience exuded in "On and By" is just indelible, but the band mix the pace up with something like the first verse in "Same Kids."

There's some strained vocal trade-offs and cathartic emotion in "The Stranger" that would probably be bone-chilling if it was just captured through the recording better. Our Fathers is by no means a tin-can production, but it's moments like these where it feels as though it's snuffing some hair-raising heartache. I feel largely the same way about epic closer "The Hunger," but it's also missing some truly swelling atmospheres to capture its buildup; someone donate these kids some pedals, stat.

Despite all that, and the polished songwriting to boot, Our Fathers rarely has moments that can undoubtedly engage through and through. That being said, it's still a very solid effort that hopefully won't be the band's sole representation.

The digital "release" of Our Fathers was handled by Juicebox.

Our Fathers

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