Released: 2004, Nuclear Blast
Reviewer: Lord of the Wasteland
“Never judge a book by its cover.” The old saying seems to have been written for Farmer Boys. Upon seeing the ridiculous band name and song titles like “Like Jesus Wept” and “Get Crucified,” I was expecting Nuclear Blast had gone and signed a country Christian band. Fear not, though, readers. This German quintet plays melodic modern rock/metal and is quite similar in style to Denmark’s Raunchy, another Nuclear Blast signing. They definitely aren’t for the death or black metal crowds, but if melodic songs full of chunky riffs, clean vocals, melancholy lyrics and lots of programmed keyboards are your bag, THE OTHER SIDE is worth checking out.
“For the World to Sing,” “Like Jesus Wept” and “What a Feeling Like” (with a nod to the James Bond theme) feature some excellent riffing and moody parts but at the same time, elements of British pop music of the 80s creep in with Matthias Sayer’s voice. Imagine Robbie Williams or Liam Gallagher from Oasis singing over a metallized Depeche Mode. Admittedly, it can be a bit jarring but these songs are so catchy and well done that it is quite easy to overlook. “Once and For All” and “Get Crucified” are a bit heavier, yet still maintain melody and Sayers’ vocals are more aggressive. “Where the Sun Never Shines” borders on emo with Sayers’ melancholy vocals and the verses sound a lot like a lighter version of Deftones’ “My Own Summer (Shove It).” The sampled movie clips add a sad note to the song, as well. “Stay Like This Forever” is not unlike something Peter Tagtgren would do with his Pain project, with the heavy keyboard section alongside clean guitars and a slightly fuzzed vocal.
I am curious who the core audience of Farmer Boys is. They are too commercial for metalheads, too heavy for the pop crowd and too upbeat for the emo fans. THE OTHER SIDE is an excellent CD but the music seems tailored to a genre that I don’t think exists. Knowing how fickle people are about their music and what is “acceptable” for them to listen to, I fear that THE OTHER SIDE will turn more people away than it will bring in which is too bad. Give this CD a chance and you may be pleasantly surprised with what you hear.
KILLER KUTS: “For the World to Sing,” “Like Jesus Wept,” “Once and For All,” Where the Sun Never Shines,” “What a Feeling Like”