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Farcry - 2009 High Gear

ALBUM: High Gear
LABEL: Kivel Records
YEAR: 2009


LINEUP: Mark Giovi - lead vocals * Pete Fry - guitar, vocals * John Leonardis - bass, vocals * Chris Ryan - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Love Won't Wait * 02 Fine Line * 03 Have It All * 04 Heaven * 05 Nowhere Fast * 06 Out Of Reach * 07 Kick Me Down * 08 She's Crazy * 09 The Same Mistake * 10 Talk To Me * 11 Those Were The Days



We don't get to review many of the Kivel Records catalog. I haven't been that enamored of their releases in the past, probably with the exception of Radar's 'RPM' album from 2000, and this latest little gem.. 'High Gear' from New Jersey based Farcry. This lot have stormed into 2009 dragging impressive references along with it like a dog at its masters heels. Farcry have generated a heap of interest over in the Myspace domain plus some of the other hard rock sites out there on the Net. Combining Firehouse, Tyketto, Harem Scarem and Kivel labelmates Adriangale, it's easy to see how 'High Gear' is making waves among the faithful. Mostly, this is a good album, but like any album there are some parts that don't quite strike a home run for my liking.

The Songs
The 'anthem' for 2009 so far would have to be the excellent starter 'Love Won't Wait'. Mix Ted Poley's vocal style and wrap it up in a Firehouse and Harem Scarem like package, and Farcry are onto a winner! Next up is the Jason Pawlak written 'Fine Line', which is guaranteed ear-candy, especially that killer chorus. 'Have It All' is a heavier tune, with Marcello Vestry like guitar work, it certainly races along toward the end there. The ballad 'Heaven' is another highlight, with some choice harmony vocals on display. Apparently, 'Nowhere Fast' is a Jim Steinman tune, I don't know a lot about the original, but from the way Farcry deliver it, the original must've been an inspirational choice. The simplicity of 'Out Of Reach' mimics Ted Poley's style, though I didn't really like the vocal warbling/chat on the verses. In fact the vocals don't sound quite accurate on this one. Similarly, 'Kick Me Down' struggles in the vocal department, but is upheld by some strong guitar lines mainly. Keyboard stutters introduce 'She's Crazy' and is good party fuelled material in the Danger Danger mould. 'Talk To Me' is one of the stronger songs featured, it's also a cover by the Norwegian band Hush. Closing track 'Those Were The Days' tries to rediscover the formula that made 'Love Won't Wait' a winner, and they get close.. very close.. but no cigar. A good way to finish up though.

In Summary
Farcry have found a recipe that works, and good on them for that. No doubt all the faithful brethren at sites like Heavy Harmonies and will lay superlatives on this album, and we'd be in the queue behind them. As mentioned, there are some aspects of this album which don't quite hit home for me. Giovi is a good powerful singer, but to my ears, he still sounds a bit rough around the edges. Some of the arrangements are fairly typical of the hair-metal era, and overall there's not a lot of uniqueness in their sound. At the end of the day, it made what could have been an exceptional album to be only a very good one in the end.

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#1 | swazi on December 23 2009 23:49:48
Well, what can I say ? Pete Fry, the guitarist, is a HH buddy of mine, but I really prefer the 'Rockarma - Bring it!' release that he has been working on as well. This one just wasn't melodic enough for me. I will give it another spin, Pete! Smile
#2 | jeffrey343 on January 06 2010 21:20:38
I've given this a couple of spins, and I'll agree with George. It could have been close to special. It's still quite good, especially the first three songs. I think this will be one where I cherry-pick songs for playlists rather than play it straight through.
#3 | Jez on November 04 2010 03:26:02
Very enjoyable melodic rock album, with many high spots and very few lows. Definitely a case of the first half being the stronger, as I pretty much like all the songs featured, especially the new lick of paint given to the excellent ballad' Heaven' aswell as 'Fine Line' and the awesome 'Have It All'. Not keen on the Meatloaf 'Nowhere Fast' cover, not because it is bad,but because it doesn't really fit with the rest of the quality tracks on here. Overall, top quality stuff (love the artwork aswell) and up there with it's peers most definitley. Look forward to album number 2.

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