Means To An End - Farse
1 CD(s) - Ska - Label: Sucka Punch - Distributor: Plastic Head - Released: 22/10/2001 - 5055027600622
1 reviews from the community
Review of "Means To An End - Farse"
I'm still watching...
Farse are a cult five-piece ska-core collective from the Midlands. For those of you not familiar with this genre, allow me to expand on it for you.It fuses the elements of ska (e.g. Madness, Operation Ivy) with hardcore, which is a derivative of punk rock. They use a large variety of guitar riffs to compliment the ska basslines. The bass is usually lots of quick repetetive chords and this combnation gives the band a very distinctive and enjoyable flavour.
The album, 'Means To An End' was released in 2001, on the relatively unknown 'Sucka Punch Records.' The record has a relaxed personality to it, despite the rather in-your-face nature of hardcore music. The ska element helps the band distance themselves from other hardcore bands to some extent. It is about 37 minutes running time and is the first of only two full album releases by Farse.THE TRACKS
1. Firing LineThis track is led in by repeated hi-hats and comes in a little bit shouty, but still helps te album make a bit of an entrance. The first verse feels nice and bouncy in its rhythm but toughens up a little for the chorus. The vocalist has a real potential and exhibits charisma when he sings. The song takes a little break with a light ska-y bassline and ends in a slightly more punchy version of the chorus. [ 7/10]
2. Humour MeMuch more along the hardcore lines this time around, a thumping beat with loud, rousing vocals, witha slight sing-a-long element at various points along the way. The style becomes a little more relaxed soon although the track still keeps up its pace, returning to the original all-out method at the employed at start the song whenever its time for a chorus. Bit of screaming at the end which might spoil it for a few people but stilla good effort. [5/10]
3 . Last TimeA combo this time, very much skacore here. The track is constantly changing from thumping drums, guitars and vocals, to a nice, bouncy and vibrant bassline. The chorus isn't exactly sensational, and the track is quite short but equal to the last one. [5.5/10]
4. Youth On PaperQuite a rocky start to the track and slightly more melodic vocals. Having previously been quite punk rock in essance. Slightly more poppy, but definitely still not mainstream. I'd say it's probably back to Ska again, and this time the lyrics are easier to pick up on. It is very hard to tell the vocalist is from the Midlands. His accent is untraceable and his style is very likeable. [7.5/10]
5. Shoes A LadyThis track sticks to ska, with a repetetive and jumpy bassline although the verses aren't exactly straight from a reggae album, but they are once again, quite relaxed. The chorus is especially chilled and probably the best one so far, quite a reggae vibe for most of it, then a quick blast at the end of the chorus. The song picks up the tempo a little near the end but doesn't stray too far from the melodies that make the start of the song so good. [8.5/10]
This song actualy appears on the band's only other release (Boxing Clever) as well.6. 100 Times
Slightly darker tune this time. Much more the lines of hard rock/soft metal. However, as seems to be a bit of a recurring theme in this album, the punk drums are again present. This isn't a problem for me, as I like them, but may put a few of you of. Not really a problem, it's necessary for the style of music Farse play and people either like it or don't like it. The vocals are fairly similar to that of a heavy metal ballad and balance out the pent-up aggression from the instruments in the song. Not a personal favourite, but still a decent song. personally, I'm a neutral here. [5.5/10]7. Another Cliche
A very-hard start with a quick bassline and vocals occasionally venture towards shouting. The delivery of the lyrics can be a bit jagged at times in this song in particular. The song levels out fairly soon and the three instruments (well, four, because they have two guitarists) complement each other a together, support the ska backbeat throughout this tune. Only two and a half minutes long, but that's about enough. Not special, but if you liked the other tracks, you'll be sure to like this one. [5.5/10]8 . Going Up
Just under a minute long, this one strats with a slightly funkier version of 'lift music' in it's bassline but the flow is boosted by the drums. No lyrics here, just a long intro. A reasonable quality for an instrumental. Not self-indulgent, just short and sweet. [6/10]9. Blueprint To A Downfall
Elevates itself into a rowdy first few bars as its intro, but settle sfirmly into the ska category soon. A Rocksteady beat with quite laid-back vocals. The songs reverts back to the same vein as the beginning of the intro and slides a long with rocky gutars and a bit more volume for a while... only to change back to ska again... then back again at the next chorus and so on. A good song again, one of the better ones up to now in the album. [7.5/10]10. 99 Green Bottles
A much more laid back song on the whole. The reggae/ska vibe is very prominent, and for some reason, makes me think of smokey rooms...
I really like this song and people, hooked by the ska part of this genre will be particular satisfied. Good lyrics and you can hear them all this time. It does get difficult in some of the faster songs due to the vocalist's style but it is, in my opinion part of his charm, and Farse's. [9/10]
Very punky this time around, sounds good though. Probably the best out of the albums heavier songs. The drums support the beat throughout and the bassline is sharp, samey and very skanky. (Not the dirty kind of skanky, skanky like the dancing.) SO, it's skanking galore here, a more upbeat bridge in the middle of the song but it soon returns and stays downtone right until it fades out... then begins to mix into the next track... [8/10]12. Rain Again
Drfting in from the previous track, this next tune is once again down tempo and keeps the end of the album quite mellow and relaxed. The beat does pick up in parts with that familiar sounding bassline whilst the vocals stil manage to remain mostly melodic throughout, and the chilled 'rain again' intro style of the early moments of the tune returns to finish the track off. My favourite on the album personally, but I'm not sure if it's the best track. I'll let you make that decision. [9/10]13. Return Of The Allstars
A downbeat instrumental, sort of the End Credits. Not much to say really. It's very pleasant and its mould will be familiar to any ska or reggae listenener. Nice ending to a good album. [7/10]
Finally; This album is quite evasive and you will be lucky to find it if your out shopping. I would consider it very much overlooked and it is a fine advert for this somewhat unrepresented genre. I would recommend it to any one whose tastes include any of types of music I have mentioned above, in the article. I would say that this album is probably not as strong as their other album Boxing Clever. However, it is definitely stilla very good album in my eyes. I consider myself a fan of Farse and have been for a while now. A unknown quantity to many people, but just take a chance and download a song or two, or buy this album. It really is good.
I have never seen this album in the shops and could not find find it on amazon, ebay, play, hmvonline, or zavvi.co.uk. It's apparently available on CIAO so the best way to buy is probably through them. You can download tracks from them from soulseek/limewire if you want to give them one or two a try. After a quick search, there may be a few 'torrents' if you're set up to use uTorrent. You can listen to samples from the songs on amazon if you just want to have a quick listen.I suggest that you give Farse a try and if you do, I hope you really like them. Thanks for reading my review and hope it covers all the bases for you.
If you do check them out and enjoy them, unfortunately, you won't be able to see them live. They split up in 2004, much to my dismay.
Product Information : Means To An End - Farse
Manufacturer's product description1 CD(s) - Ska - Label: Sucka Punch - Distributor: Plastic Head - Released: 22/10/2001 - 5055027600622
Listed on Ciao since: 21/04/2005