Far Away Stables – Between Rage and Serenity (Album Review)
Around about a month ago now, Sydney-based alt-rock quintet Far Away Stables released their debut album Between Rage and Serenity. The unsigned band, featuring Brendan Sheargold (vocals), Mitchell Grace (guitar/vocals), Nick Palmer (guitar), Tim Byles (bass) and Cam Bury (drums), formed back in late 2011 and their debut album has been a long time coming.
The 10-track release offers an alt-rock sound that draws on a mesh of influences: from Angels and Airwaves to The Getaway Plan. It is a sound that is both familiar and catchy. Despite this, Far Away Stables has achieved a real international flavour on Between Rage and Serenity whilst also sounding home grown at the same time.
The release opens with the lead single of the album, Caldera. It has the faintest vibe of AFI and 30 Seconds To Mars in the way that it is highly melodic with symphonic accents. The frenetic Crystallize comes next and it is grounded in a thumping drum beat, but it is the piercing guitar opening and stunning harmonies that really make this track stand out. This then flows into the atmospheric ballad Phantasm that encapsulates within it heavy instrumental accents and an explosion of sound throughout the chorus.
The unexpected piano opening of Infinity Crisis that Far Away Stables delivers next shows off Sheargold’s masterful vocals. There is another musical explosion in the chorus, whilst the piano remains as the undercurrent throughout. There is evident warmth with the aptly titled Sunshine that comes next. It has intricate guitar work that is a real marvel whilst the subtle tempo changes are really dynamic.
It is the second half of the release that is most remarkable. It begins with the up-tempo melodic Azalea. It is catchy and infectious with dynamic heavy instrumentation. Next up is the mainstream sounding No Revolution. It’s a slow burn, but well worth the wait with the combination of atmospheric elements and heavy instrumentation. The hypnotic Phase Shift follows and it also has this same atmospheric quality, but instead paired with textured harmonies.
The final two tracks on the release are highly memorable. First up comes the mid-tempo Paradise; that brings back the heaviest elements of the Far Away Stables sound. Between Rage and Serenity then seeks to leave a lasting impression with Ambulophobia that is both atmospheric and electronic in nature. Every band member gets a chance to shine on this track – vocals, guitar, drums and keys combine to make magic.
Between Rage and Serenity is the result of a polished and hard-working band. It is loud, brash and full of personality: the release lives up to its namesake in every which way, with instrumentation that expresses both rage and serenity throughout. On repeated listens, which this album more than deserves, you will uncover something you didn’t hear before. Far Away Stables are a band of many layers. They are unbelievably brilliant in every which way. Seriously though, If you have not yet heard of Far Away Stables…what have you been doing with your life?
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- Maggie Sapet