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Subtropical Spin

With its eponymous debut, hard-rock fourpiece Far From Gone attracts the spotlight that so often favors Broward over Palm Beach County. The eight-song CD starts off with a bang, lining up a trio of powerhouse tracks with a strong sense of melody and group dynamics. Vocalist Jeff Irving is a dead ringer for warbly Live lead Ed Kowalczyk (think "Lightning Crashes" plus a six-pack), and Aaron Herman establishes a potent persona on guitar. Backing vocals lend a drunken, shout-along thrill to "Thorny Crown" and "Fellowship," and even where "P.J" gets aggressive, it stays on track. By "Chapter 1," it seems the band has really found its stride, enough to downshift from slow chugging to heavy guitar overdrive, as in "Far Away." Far From Gone veers off course only when drummer James Silvestri goes overboard with the fills rather than keeping a heavy, plodding pace, and in the final tracks, which run long or substitute Cookie Monster, death-metal screams for the more playful backing vocals of the album's start. Still, FFG can stand tall alongside the work of other local bangers like Trendkill and Curse Icon (maybe minus points for style). Overall, the album is a respectable effort and a promising debut, one that should come off even better live. Far From Gone throws a CD-release party at 10 p.m. Saturday, June 25, at Swampgrass Willy's, 9910 Alternate A1A, Ste. 711, Palm Beach Gardens. Tickets cost $5. Call 561-625-1555.


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