Monday, 5 February 2018

Album Review: These Fast Times by These Fast Times

These Fast Times are a four piece punk rock band from Montreal, Canada. Yup, we're featuring another Canadian band. The band, which consists of Jeffery Vuorela (guitar/vocals), Ryan Kennedy (drums), Jason Bellefontaine (bass/vocals) and Thomas Kolofsky (lead guitar) formed in 2014. I recently discovered their debut EP via Bandcamp and loved it. It was released back in February of 2016 so I thought it might be quite late to review it. But then I discovered that they are working on their debut album which will be released on Thousand Island Records and decided I would review the EP to get people warmed up for the album. Plus I really like this EP.

The self titled EP starts with the song Jealousy. The song begins with nice piece of guitar work before some soft vocals come in. The song slowly builds and before long the vocals swap and we get a more intenese stlye of vocal. This swap works perfectly giving the song a very interesting feeling to it. It's about the naysayers in your life who act negatively towards your life because it's different to theirs. The combination of the vocals on the song are just superb. I don't know enough hyperboles to really do them justice. Up next is a track named Simon. Starting with a reasonably lengthy guitar based intro, it feels much more like a rock song than Jealousy did. Of course it is the dual vocals that steal the show, I feel like they might on the entire release. The song has a great, positive message about going out there and doing the things you love and not worrying about things. The song also features a lovely guitar solo that all the 80s hair metal fans will adore. The third song is an up-tempo number named Move Along. Bellefontaine's fast basslines really drive the song on as the rest of the instruments do a fantastic job of keeping up. The vocals on the track are mostly of the intense style. This works brilliantly on the faster track.

Up next for These Fast Times is the song Epic. With a song title like that it's got much to live up to. Much like Jealousy it starts slowly with the softer vocal before gradually building towards the more intense. With the jangly guitars on the song and the slow paced shout-a-long chorus there is a hint of Iron Chic about the song - that's never ever a bad thing. This is the song that I can see be especially well received at a These Fast Times gig. The breakdown, which is first lead by the bass and then joined by some emotional sounding guitars, builds wonderfully towards one last big chorus. On the penultimate song Midnight Bellefontaines bass gets to open things up. I'm happy to hear the bass being so evident on these tracks as it can often be overlooked. Midnight is the most poppy song on the EP, with only one vocalist this time. The pace with which the softer vocals are delivered is upped and there is a feeling of nostalgia around the sound of the song. Finally we have the massive sounding Where Have You Been to complete the EP. This song is epic from its beginning to its end. From the opening piano, to the big choruses, the whoa-ohs and the huge finale, the song just feels gigantic. I really want to see these song played live. I think it would be incredible in a small bar as well as at a big event. It's just one of those special songs that need listening to.

This EP is so bloody good. I'm sad I was so slow to discovering it. I'm now so excited to hear These Fast Times debut. I have high expectations for it.

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This review was written by Colin Clark.

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