I'm not sure what prompted me to request this album. I've never heard of Fairgrove before, and I'm unfamiliar with Montesano Records. Perhaps it slipped into my review pile by mistake, or maybe I was feeling adventurous. Either way, it was serendipitous that Good Luck found my CD player, because it's a great record.
Smudges of their hometown, Seattle, shine through on Fairgrove's debut long-player with admirable post-grunge maturity. To be honest, the disc's opener could be a Pearl Jam song but, on the whole, the disc is far from derivative. Intelligent instrumental arrangement, wistfully forceful vocal-lyric combinations and moments of startling beauty (the raw acoustic pain of "Hospital") all build a vivid picture. Kip Beelman has produced the band with admirable restraint, warmth and intimacy. Strands of the best sub-genres alternative music has offered us in the past decade wave their way through what is essentially a photograph album, full of snapshots of a band brimming with tension, energy and potential.
Montesano Records: http://www.montesano.net
by Dan Stapleton