Review: Far Away Strays – Rivers Will Rise (2012)
Review by contributor Chris McLafferty
Far Away Strays finds a fun, talented way to watch ourselves and the world we live in with the release of their EP Rivers Will Rise. FAS has firmly taken a spot as one of the most talented bands in Columbus and one that I think has amazing growing potential. Only recently formed, Far Away Strays has put together one of the most meaningful EP releases Columbus has seen. With its raw emotion, both musically and lyrically through the words of Columbus’ best lyricist, Bobby Walsh, Far Away Strays have made an EP that lingers in your conscious for a long time to come.
Lately it seems we as a society have been turning our cheek to problems of the world, only paying attention enough to obsess over the latest end of the world theory, as if we can’t wait for that day to come. From Y2K to the Mayans, we constantly glorify the end, instead of working to fix the problems we encounter. Enter Far Away Strays who calls us out, showing us that the world we live in does indeed have problems, from an individual to worldwide scale. But its here that it achieves success greater than those before it. Instead of latching onto the give up mentality, it breathes in a refreshing wind of optimism, sounding more like a call to action for betterment than a head down waiting for it to end whine. “Battlefield of Broken People” challenges those named with a question of hope, “How long are you going to let the world keep you down?” “Civil Wars” stands out as a haunting recall of times and sins past. This is Far Away Strays’ Fight Club and should be yours. As you hear the shots of cannons behind “You are the sinner behind the sin that brought you down in this hole that you’re in” you can’t help the inner struggle that overcomes your mind, which reminds us that none of us are perfect. Relentlessly, they drag you through the scenes of life as if taking on the role of the Ghost Of Years Past, only to become the Ghost of Present with “What We Deserve.” This soothes us in understanding that we all have our own problems; each of us deals with them in our own way and it not our place to judge the others while they go through their own. But the real stand out, both lyrically and musically comes in the hit “Wool Over My Eyes.” The uplifting words “My wounds will heal with time, so don’t pull the wool over my eyes” is only matched up by its musical counterpart which rips the emotion out of our bodies and leaves it on our sleeve for full display. Just wait til the hollowing cello carries you into the accusatory chants “You run with the devil, with a fire in those eyes” which even then sounds more like an intervention eye-opener of help than it is a beat down of words. Columbus, I hope you’re ready to add one more gem into the growingly talented Folk-Alt scene, cause Far Away Strays has the emotion to take you over. Embrace it; it’ll make you a better person.