Album Spotlight: Fernway - "Welcome To The Ground"

>>At times Fernway slips into an ethereal musical existence, hydrodynamically lifting themselves above the pop plane, racing towards an alternative universe. There’s a multi-embodying element in every track, slipping effortlessly from rock to jazz to atmospheric noise without the listener ever noticing. It’s no easy feat and not the faint of heart. But there is nothing contrived about it, easily, and maybe lazily, categorized as Fernway being Fernway. Welcome to the Ground shows evolution, but not as much as a band as it is for the new sounds music and bands should probably start striving for.

Welcome to the Ground opens with a slow methodical approach that doesn’t take off until well after the one-minute mark. A casual fan might not wait that long. But SweetJoy is worth the wait, catchy, with a slight off-beat sound that makes the meter signature difficult to pin down. Immediately apparent, this is not your average garage band, a group of Ramones who have just learned the instrument. These are musicians. The drumming is absolutely fantastic and plays slightly in front of the beat but then goes back behind the beat for the chorus. It’s a dream.

The second track on the five-song album is I have to Return Some Video Tapes, which was previously released and has the makings of a radio friendly song. It’s incredibly dynamic, with a Mezzo Piano in the beginning that accentuates the vocals the first time around, but then comes around a second time with a collage sound with a walking key line, a sax, a thoughtful bassline, and a serene calming feel. It’s fitting and beautiful.

Half-Life is the albums most anthemic track, sounding much like the lead song on a soundtrack, with all the key elements of a great rock track; relatable lyrics, falsetto vocal in the chorus, and a pounding beat. There’s a nice breakdown midway through the song that amps you up for the rest of the track kicking back in. Endwell starts in a similar fashion as I have to Return Some Video Tapes, but has an alt-country vibe and an excellent vocal performance. Take a listen at the 3:57 mark.

Big.Bad.Ugly ends the album. A bouncy buzzing bassline that the drums runs along with makes this track addictive. “Everything strange behind the smile on your face. Silver spoons the only thing you taste” is just one of the many attention-grabbing lyrics before the chorus jumps back in and makes you want to pound out the drums on your steering wheel. The band is picking up steam and getting more and more streams every day. Their following is there and the people who have picked up on this band early are going to feel lucky as they become popular and being outside of Buffalo becomes more common than playing local shows. Mainstream commercial success for this band is certainly a possibility, but what is more than likely is that Fernway becomes more seminal than they probably intended. This is going to be your next favorite band’s favorite band.