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Further Lo - 2003 Further Lo


FURTHER LO - FURTHER LO (2003, POWERPLAY RECORDS)
Aaron Werner - vocals, keyboards
Donnie Davis - guitars
Randy Reynolds - guitars
Sean Miller - bass
Turk Elliot - drums


Background
This is the debut album from Further Lo, the Columbus, Ohio five piece who formed in 2001 and recorded a six track demo, 'Pissed Off' in 2002. Describing themselves as a metal act, Further Lo are apparently influenced by a ton of notable acts such as Slayer, Anthrax, AC/DC, Nevermore, Iced Earth, Voivod, Nine Inch Nails, Godsmack, Alice In Chains .. I say apparently, but the description is actually true as Further Lo manage to incorporate elements from all of the above, which clouds their real direction. One minute grunge, the next metal, it's hard to take in, as Further Lo flounder to sustain a consistent sound.

The Songs
The stylistic confusion begins with opener 'I Bleed', whose opening riff contains traces of Led Zeppelin's 'Achilles Last Stand'. Werner sounds uncannily similar to Geoff Tate at the onset, before transforming into Sully Erna of Godsmack for the duration of the track. 'Attachment Theory' comes on initially like prime Corrosion Of Conformity, right down to the sludge like riffs, almost garage rock, but soon veers off into massive Alice In Chains territory, with Werner now putting on his best Layne Staley impersonation, with some more Godsmack overtones thrown in. It's so derivative that the song itself is faceless as it feels like a track from the aforementioned acts. The effects that open 'Awake' had me thinking Jimmy Page and his 70's feedback tricks, but the track again reverts to Alice In Chains melodic grunge, with slightly more metallic riffs. 'Fanatic' adds some harmonica into the mix, but the overall tone is too dour for such effect. There's a ballad like sensitivity to 'Untitled (As I Burn)' which predictably gains heaviness, although the riffs are far from the 80's thrash acts that supposedly influenced Davis and Reynolds. 'The Past' is an acceptable piece of aggression only blighted by the 90's grunge like vocals which don't mix well. Matters drag with 'Pissed Off' and some dreary passages that slow things down needlessly. 'No Vacancy' goes the Nine Inch Nails industrial metal direction, something Fear Factory wore out some years back.

In Summary
Further Lo in order to remain viable need to gain their own identity. With the constant mixture of notable styles they appear to have compromised to appeal to audiences of various genres in the chances of gaining mass acceptability. This may not be true but when you hear three or four bands in one song and can name them all instantly, then clearly their influences are being worn too closely on their sleeves. It almost males a mockery of their bio that reads' Further Lo is pushing to assault the USA and the world with its unique metal sound'. Sadly there's nothing unique whatsoever here currently, unless a song which is one half COC and AIC is an innovation. If Further Lo concentrate on discovering their own calling, then who knows what could be accomplished. Surely they can't be afraid to find out?

Track Listing:
01 I Bleed
02 Attachment Theory
03 Awake
04 The Actor
05 Fanatic
06 Untitled (As I Burn)
07 The Past
08 Pissed Off
09 No Vacancy
10 Eraser
11 The Actor (Demo Version/Bonus)
12 I Bleed (Demo Version/Bonus)

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