Review Detail

4.0 1
CD Reviews CE Central Electronic Brain September 02, 2011 11189
Far Cry - Optimisim
Overall rating
Production Quality
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Value for Money
Review By Woody

After the success of Far Cry’s previous album “High Gear” and subsequent appearance at MelodicRock Fest 2 in Chicago the band plan to capture that momentum and increase their popularity with their aptly titled second album “Optimism” and an appearance at Firefest.

The band have recently changed singers as Mark Giovi steps down, but the voice you will hear on this album is his. Band leader guitarist Pete Fry is joined by Angelo Mazza on rhythm guitar, Ronnie Parkes on Bass, Tommy John on Drums and the ever reliable Eric Ragno provides the keyboards. The album again features some outside writers including Jace Pawlak (Chasing Magic), Paul Logue (Eden’s Curse) and Steve Newman (Newman / Big Life).

Again Far Cry have produced a highly enjoyable album, although this time it’s a stronger, more organic and less by the book collection of guitar driven melodic rock. Pete Fry’s guitar work in particular seems more organic and seemingly see’s his playing let of the leash a little bit more than previously, giving the band’s sound more definition and identity. Pete’s playing definitely gives the songs more power and energy as well as the swagger that’ll get body’s gyrating on the dance floor and in the mosh pit!

Steve Newman’s contribution to the album for me is quite impressive, and you feel his stamp and can imagine hearing Steve singing those songs and doing them real justice. I’m already a big fan of Steve’s lyric skills and he doesn’t disappoint here either. Of all the tracks on the album it’s the ones which Steve has co-wrote that really stand out and capture my attention.

“Satisfaction” is a full on melodic rocker, with swagger and a cool backbeat. Pete Fry lets rip with some chunky riffs and licks on this one. “Over and Over (and again)” is a Newman co-write and has probably the most noticeable Newman feel to it especially on the chorus. The song has a great vibe to it with some cool keyboards and intricate guitar playing. The huge melodic chorus has a melancholic edge to it and I absolutely love it. “Nothing You Can Do” is a guitar driven rocker which sees Fry showing us what he can do. The Chant along chorus should make this a popular live song; I’ll be surprised if this doesn’t become a stalwart of the bands live set.

Ballad “Better Than This” has a very Americana ambience to it putting me in mind of Springsteen & Petty. I like Mark Giovi’s voice on this track; I think his vocal style adds a real rawness and depth to the song. “Love At First Sight” is more of a straight ahead melodic rock tune with a smoother feel. It has a really memorable melody on the chorus and guitar lick. “Now That It’s Over” is a driving rocker with some cool guitar licks and an insistent punchy chorus. “Free” has a real ‘Americana’ touch to it, with Tom Petty style guitar playing, singing and chorus – I really think Giovi’s voice suits this style.

“Best Of Me” is probably the most commercial song on the album, instant and sing-along, for me a near perfect song with a wonderful upbeat tone to it. This is without a doubt my favourite song with its killer chorus and lyrics - provided by Mr Newman. There are some wonderful keyboards and strong vocals on this track making it a real standout. “Too Hot To Hold” is a swaggering rocker with a driving chorus that’ll definitely make an impression. “When the Lights Go Down” is a real old school '80’s rocker think Poison and you’ll get an idea of what to expect from this tune.

The band are fast building up a strong and loyal fan base and with this album and Firefest on the horizon I’m sure this slab of guitar driven melodic rock will have their fans and those yet to join the ranks dancing into the small hours. A fun collection of traditional American melodic rock full of groove and swagger that is sure to please rock fans everywhere!

Track Listing: Satisfaction / Over and Over (Again) / Nothing You Can Do / Better Than This / Love At First Sight / Now That It’s Over / Free / Best Of Me / Too Hot To Hold / When The Lights Go Down

Album Rating: Best Of Me

Woody’s Essential Track: 8/10

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