Tear Everything Down
The familiar-but-fresh sound of South Farwell's new album, Tear Everything Down, is formed around the gravely vocals of Bill Boles and wrapped in harmonious arrangement. It combines strong-but-tasteful guitar (acoustic and electric, thanks to the versatile Tim Coughlin and Boles), full percussion (thanks to the multitasking Cory Dahl), resonantly solid bass (thanks to Phil Juodis) and peppers of piano, organ and saxophone to create impressive resonance. The end result is along the lines of a one-night-only show of The Black Crowes (and a vocal variation of Chris Robinson) covering a set list transposed by Amos Lee and Martin Sexton - and like sweet-and-salty, it's a good end product. All of the band members are well known in the Midwestern music scene from previous musical projects; both Boles and Joudis were in Easychair, a well-received country-rock collaboration that toured the Midwest from 2001 to 2006. After Coughlin's guitar work with Half Life caught the attention of those two, Dahl - considered among the area's most solid drummers - came in to round out the band. South Farwell was complete. Tear Everything Down is awash in chops of B3 organ, in shimmering horn lines, and in plenty of rollicking piano, but the biggest asset to the band is still it's pure and simple earnestness. Dahls' drums thump with a weight that works it's way into your very bones, Coughlin and Juodis lay down severely solid sonic foundations, and on top of all of this is Boles' voice, ringing and clear. It's deceptively simple, and beautifully executed. It may be simplistic to think that a band can change your worldview, that something as trivial as music can change the very foundation of the world we live in. But just maybe, there is something to the idea that music can transcend the fear that exists in perpetuity in these United States. If that is the case, South Farwell may stand for something that exists beyond danceabillity or hipness. South Farwell may, in fact, stand for hope.