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Further Seems Forever has withstood lead changes for years and is still around.
Further Seems Forever has withstood lead changes for years and is still around.
Image via YouTube

Further Seems Forever's Staying Power a Testament to Punk Hope

Further Seems Forever is still rocking after more than two decades and several changes in band members. The Pompano Beach indie rock band is one of many bands of the indie/emo and pop-punk ilk that have thrived both in and outside of Florida. Chris Carrabba, the original lead singer of Further Seems Forever, has filled in at guitar for New Found Glory and one of the founding members of Dashboard Confessional, showing the influence the band has had on acts coming out of South Florida.

Further Seems Forever dropped their first LP, The Moon is Down, in 2001 and before too long were being talked about with bands like New Found Glory and Against Me!. The Moon is Down was released to critical acclaim in the punk world. And despite Carrabba leaving to focus on Dashboard Confessional, Further Seems Forever was cementing themselves in the minds of punk/emo kids all over South Florida.

Although they have been labeled as a Christian rock band in the past, the members of the band have said many times they aren’t a Christian band, but instead a band with Christian members. Now that could take us into a discussion about how much an artist's religious beliefs influence their music (see Kanye West’s Gospel Album) but as a good agnostic, I’m going to refrain from turning down that road and accept Further Seems Forever’s stance on the matter.

Further Seems Forever has been through several lead singers by now. For a band that has seen so many changes, it’s a testament to the talent and goals of the band that they are able to retain their fan base and keep these emo kids crying for more. Their ability to withstand front-man changes the way they have is an example of the punk scene's ability to work together to create as well as the bond that people in the punk scene develop through their common interests and sentiments about society. A punk band changing their lead singer is actually a fairly common occurrence.

I’ve said it a million times, but it’s worth stating again, you will find punk bands everywhere in the world. It’s like hip-hop in a sense, it’s the music of revolt and it speaks to the problems of the youth no matter where you grew up. Whether you are in the Philippines, Iran, Nigeria, or Pompano Beach, there are bands playing in living rooms, garages, and small spaces around the world. Punk icon Henry Rollins even went as far as spreading a one-terabyte flash drive of American rock music all over Tehran.

It’s this sentiment that the world has for what bands like Further Seems Forever are doing, that resonates with the rage of kids that have a beef with society. Tracks like "So Cold," off the 2012 LP Penny Black, embody the style and emo leanings of the band, a mark that many punk bands that have come out of South Florida have, and probably has something to do with the fact that many of the cast of Further Seems Forever have played in other bands that have found notoriety in the South Florida punk scene.

If we take a trip back to their first album, the single "Snowbirds and Townies" is an incredibly South Florida emo/punk song. It’s a story about the seasons changing in the Sunshine State and the vacationers and snowbirds come down to escape the cold of the north and how it impacts their town and the people who live there. It’s about the relationships that are forged in winter and then end when the season is over.

The track "Light Up Ahead," from Hide Nothing (2004), is a song about changing into the thing you hate as a person, seeing what you always feared you’d become in the reflection in the mirror. But there is a light up ahead, so there is always hope. To quote the raccoonish, punk-Marxist philosopher Slavoj Zizek, “Sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel is the oncoming train.” The song, though, reveals Further's deep ambivalence, and the band comes out as a contradiction to punk's pissed-off hopelessness. But that's Further Seems Forever.

Further Seems Forever has a deep catalog and their fans have been dedicated to their music since that first album in 2001. You can be sure FSF's appearance in West Palm Beach will bring out all the sadboys and sadgirls to revel in the nostalgia of their discontented youth, even if it’s only for one night.

With KIDS, the Darling Fire, and Sandman Sleeps. 8 p.m. Friday, December 27 at Voltaire, 526 Clematis St., West Palm Beach; sub-culture.org/voltaire. Tickets start at $15.

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