Chris Carrabba, the former (and again, current) lead singer of Further Seems Forever, has also been making music under the moniker Dashboard Confessional since his 2000 debut disc, The Swiss Army Romance. The heart-on-his-sleeve, emo/folk pioneer had big hits with tunes like “Screaming Infidelities,” Vindicated,” and “Don’t Wait” and concerts consisted of devoted legions of fans, many times singing louder than Carrabba to every song on his setlist. 2009 saw his last proper album with the band, and then he re-teamed up with his FSF bandmates to put out Penny Black last year after a ten year hiatus with them. After that, a solo covers album was released, and his future uncertain.
Since then, Carrabba found a new love, and has joined yet another side project, entitled Twin Forks, with band members from The Narrative and Bad Books, to form a foot-stomping, folk/americana band much in the same vein as bands like Mumford and Sons and Of Monsters and Men. Their new self-titled, five song EP is out today giving a sample of what we can expect on their 2014 full length debut, and if you’re a fan of the genre, Carrabba himself, or just good rootsy folk rock, you’re in for a treat.
The EP starts with hoots, hollers, mandolin and a foot-stomp beat alongside Carrabba’s distinctive emo vocals on “Back To You.” At first it sounds a bit raspy and out of place on the track, but once the whistles come in and the rollicking chorus begins, it feels the perfect accompaniment. It’s nice to hear such upbeat, positive music from an artist who has built a career on lyrics of longing and lost love. Not that the lyrics or subject matter have changed all that much, but soaring “whoa-oh’s” and a bluegrass beat can do wonders for a tune.
The hootenanny energy continues full force through the five tracks, and never skips a beat as Carrabba and
Sons company stomp through upbeat tunes like “Something We Just Know” and whistler, “Can’t Be Broken.” I was a bit disappointed lyrically, since Carrabba’s prior tunes have flirted with a lot of Christian imagery in his Dashboard tracks, especially in songs like “Get Me Right,” but the closest he comes with Twin Forks is on the closer, “Scraping Up The Pieces.” He sings “I could be delivered, I could go to rest on high up in Paradise forever in a golden shinin’ sky. It couldn’t feel much different than the years I had alive, starin’ up into the heavens with you lyin’ by my side.” It’s definitely a catchy tune and has an almost Irish folk flare to it, but makes me long for something a little deeper. Overall a great intro to the band, and an excellent hint of what’s to come. I give it an 8 out of 10 stars.
Try This Track: “Back to You”