Wicked Farleys are the Antidote for Your Mental Doldrums!
You think you've heard it all. You think you've experienced all the highs,
lows, ups, downs, weaving centipedes and spiraling airplanes of emotion that
amazing music has to offer. Its all been done already. Any amazing phoneme
you can uncover can easily be traced back to an original source. All there
is to say has been said. All there is to do has been done. Put down that
guitar and four-track now; kiss creativity and originality goodbye; try
something else; nothing you do can possibly be new. Rock is dead....?
Take a ride to the chilly Northeast. Ignore the signs that say "Aerosmith
wuz heer"; Skip past the New Kids and go directly to THESE new kids... the
Wicked Farleys. "You aint heard nuthin' yet, Charlie!"
Strike that opening paragraph, redo the syntax, negate the statements... it
hasn't ALL been done; originality IS alive and well; your mind is STILL
capable of being blown. These four young men from Fitchburg are here to
demonstrate that searing hot cutting edge soundscapes and a blazing inferno
of performance perfection can spring from somewhere other than DC or Chi-town
or Chapel Hill.
Two guitars, a bass, drums and voice + some assorted bits and pieces; spices
and seasoning for the basic meat and potatoes. A stew guaranteed to send you
into a tizzy, guaranteed to make you dance (my God! How long has it been
since ANY band has made you do that?!?), guaranteed to send you reaching for
your thesaurus, scrambling for enough unique superlatives to properly convey
just how special this music makes you feel. The English language is far too
limited to impart how wonderful the Wicked Farleys' music is... but many have
tried and many still try.
A review of their explosive 1998 Rumble set put it simply this way: "The
Wicked Farleys use way more chords, rhythms, off-tonic bass notes, tempo and
time signature shifts, dissonance, pure noise and experimentation than
tonight's other bands-- and that was just the first song!" The reviewer goes
onto state, "WF's mix of intensity, goofiness and a smart aversion to
repetition make them the boldest, most interesting band of the night."
Pick up Sentinal and Enterprise, their debut album on Big Top Records... it
grabs you by the throat immediately with shrieking noise ushering in a
cacophony of chordal chaos. Edgar Varese, the avant-garde composer who was
a big idol of Frank Zappa's, composed music less interested in melody and
harmony and more concerned with density, rhythm and sound... ANY sound. He
used armies of percussion; he employed brass sections to sound out thick
dense chords in conjuncture with the battery; he exploited the wide ranges
and sonarities present in the extreme reaches of a woodwind section to
splatter color across the musical canvas like streaks of blood and chunks of
dismembered human tissue. What better term could be applied to this form of
music making than his own: musique concrete.
The Wicked Farleys do this with rock music; they create vast constructs of
thick sound; they make full use of time and its many divisions. What
emerges is majestic, maddening, mindblowing, more, moRE, MORE than you can
take. Relentless energy, an understated vocal delivery, fuel for a fire
devouring a log, chomping and munching until it subsides... only to be
reawakened by someone pouring gasoline over it and igniting the fury once
An average joe might call it noise. A slightly more sophisticated music
listener might call it overkill (too many ideas at once). Not everyone gets
it. One reviewer complained, "There are lots of quirky time changes and just
when it sounds like they've found a good groove, the rhythms take a 180
degree turn. They need to find a melody and stick with it"
The Farleys are too busy being pioneers to worry about that. "Finding a
melody" has already been done. "Sticking to a groove" is what everyone
expects you to do. Instead, these fellows are taking the basic components of
a rock song, segmenting it off neatly (or sometimes not so neatly) with a
blunt scalpel, an unexact X-Acto knife and reassembling the cut up carcass in
a new configuration; they are rearranging the helixes of ribonucleic acid
strands that make up music and are creating new creatures; distorted and
disfigured; strangely beautiful mutants, wholly unique and frighteningly
Beauty abounds amidst the brutal soundscape. Vocal melodies of a gentle and
compelling nature reach out to you; the voice of reason amidst the insanity.
But, to paraphrase John Entwhistle, "Insanity is fun if THIS is the way its
done". Negative reviewer must have been too busy depressing their ears with
cotton and their senses with alcohol to miss the copious amounts of groove
offered by the Wicked Farleys. Track 2, My Office, turns the spotlight onto
the bass and drums. Elsewhere on the disc, the bass is another component of
color in the chords; not easily excised but still equally essential. Here,
however, it is front and center laying down one of the thickest, quickest,
clickenist grooves with a capital Geez if you please! To me the album truly
begins with this song. Track one with its Vareseian concrete chords are the
coming attractions; Track two is the opening credits of a motion picture
without a provided visual medium... save for your mind's recently reawoken
Things are never what they appear with this music. But then things aren't
what they appear up in Boston either. Praise and homage is extended to the
great spawning grounds elsewhere in these United States but the New England
area is highly ignored. Yet these young men (and I DO mean Young) are
instigating a quiet revolution of immense proportions and reworking the
definitions of rock in new and challenging ways. This music truly defies
categorization. It is highly original. The Wicked Farleys are the most
exciting band in Boston today. They are one of the most musically
mindblowing groups in the country. Any jaded cynic who has lost their faith
in rock need only to witness this band live or to pick up their releases to
replenish their empty well. A thirst for your mind? Here's a feast for your
heart. The Wicked Farleys fulfill. Welcome back, listener...
Written By: Sir Brian C.