Cleveland native Rob Montague (Bro Jovi, Ohio Sky, Shenoah) is back with a new sound. Farewell Song, a 13-track album recorded over a five-year period at Lakewood’s Conquistador Studios. Montague has displayed good musical vision in his past projects, reason enough for any fan of independent alternative rock to give this album a listen.
Farewell Song starts a bit on the mellow side, with the thoughtful “Brand New Day”. The song does also establish the heavy tendencies of the album, especially once the detuned guitars from Cole Martinez (Bro Jovi, Years of Fire) power the track into the chorus.
Though the tempo may be a bit slow on the first song, the majority of the tracks are fast-paced fist-pumpers. “I Want More” and “Falling Away” blow the listener away with the sheer power of the guitar work (probably due to the guitars played in Drop-B, the same tuning popularized by such bands as Slipknot). The latter song has some particularly impressive vocal harmonies.
Despite the metal-minded sensibilities of much of the guitars on this album, Montague brings an interesting contrast with his vocal approach – melodic, forceful and impassioned. The vocals help to bring everything together, melding seamlessly with the fire of the guitar play.
Another standout track on the album is the duet “Restless”, featuring Cassandra Baun of Time Bomb Heart. Baun and Montague trade lines and harmonize well together in the song, which features clean guitar sounds mixed with prominent and driving percussion from Tommy Heywood (Bro Jovi, Abigail Williams) that powers the song well.
Though Montague’s album was born almost entirely in the studio, he has assembled a group of like-minded musicians to form the Flat Earth Society, which will perform these songs live for the first time beginning in early 2012. Joining Montague are guitarists Bob Uhoda (Audiblethread, Shenoah) and Keith Fewell, with Mike Drury (Ohio Sky, The Elite) on bass and Heywood on drums. The band has not yet made an official announcement on when that first show will be, but according to Montague it will likely be sometime in January – stay tuned to this site for details as we hear about them!
Gene’s Favorite Tracks from Farewell Song:
1. Falling Away
2. Restless (feat. Cassandra Baun of Time Bomb Heart)
3. I Want More