I don't know what the deal with this band is. They released this one CD in 1999, and it got promoted a bit but apparently didn't sell very well (I picked up my copy in the bargain bin). They recorded a song or two for some compilations (for example, they did a track on the first Happy Christmas, which I covered back in December). And then they fell off the face of the Earth. Then a couple years ago, Sarah Meeker (now Sarah Macintosh) popped back on the radar with a solo album. (I didn't care much for the preview tracks from it.)
Chasing Furies weren't really a band in the usual sense. Sarah and Josh Meeker traded lead vocals and both played guitar; Rachel Meeker sang backing vocals and played some piano. (They're all siblings.) This sounds like a full rock album, though, because they got a bunch of guest musicians.
"Thicker": I like the juxtaposition of quiet and loud in this song. tinkle tinkle tinkle DJEEEOW Something about the guitar riffs always sounded off to me—but I couldn't initially put a finger on how. Like they're moving sideways.
And listen to Sarah belt out those ending lines: "Drifting iiiiii-iiiiiii-iiiiii-iiiiii-iiiiii-iiiiiiiiin!"
"Throw Me": I honestly can't think of anything to say about this song.
"I Would Drown": Joshua sings this one. It could have been a simple ballad, but they went and drenched it in distortion and made it awesome.
"Fair Night's Longing": Really, that simple piano loop is the backbone of the song. I could play that piano bit. But I would never have written it.
"Enchanted": Do you hear what's different about this song, compared to the ones before it? No, not the uilleann pipes (you can barely hear them anyway), something else. Something I didn't notice until several years after acquiring this album. Something I didn't notice until a few years after noticing that the drums in verse 1, verse 2, chorus 1, and chorus 2 are all different from each other.
"I Surrender": Crunchy guitars! Then they fade out and the song goes kinda mopey. But the bit at the end... "Here my heart lay, open before you, I can't deny, I just adore you" Djow! Djow djow! Yes.
"Romance Me": Another power ballad from Josh. "Okay Meta Four, I hear the ballad, but where's the power?" Wait for it.
"Writhe for Hearing": You know what these people are? Dynamic.
I keep thinking that the crunchy guitar riff from this one is a lot like the one from the last song. On any other album, I'd think it was lazy songwriting, but here it seems deliberate, a way to tie these songs together. I also like how the drums start sounding electronic at the end.
"Nothing": So basically, from the first time I heard this album, the guitar riffs in the first track were not the only thing that felt different—the entire album felt off-kilter in a way I could not explain. About a year or so ago I finally put my finger on it: they're using the guitars for texture and sometimes for rhythm, not for melody. ("Enchanted" is the main exception.) It's the singing that does pretty much all the work carrying the melody. The effect is like a weird fusion of pop and Post-Punk. Or like a bunch of space aliens read all about that Earthling "rock music" and tried to start their own band, without ever having listened to the radio.
Oh yeah, this song. It's pretty cool. There's a field recording of cicadas.
"Whisper Softly": Now this is just lovely.
Holy carp, maybe it was this song—this bit of distorted electric folk—that laid the seed which would eventually grow into my obsession with Woven Hand. The similarities are uncanny.
"Wait Forever": A more laid-back, piano-centered song for the album end. The body of the song is decent, but the ending knocks it out of the park. Jazzy piano solo? Yes!
To say the very thing that I mean, the whole of it, nothing more or less than what I really mean: This album really Needs More Love.
If you only listen to one track, listen to: "Thicker". And then keep listening.