Far - Water & Solutions.

Ah, Far! They didn't let me down. An album that surpasses the major label debut of Tin Cans in pretty much every department. Songs, performance, maturity. The whole kaboodle (or a word pronounced the same but maybe spelt differently.)

Bury White opens the album in fine style. A song that somehow reminds me of Punchdrunk from the Tin Cans album (which happened to be a personal favourite).

One thing that struck me from that song was how instantly recognisable the Far sound, and Jonah's vocals were. In a time where it can be a little difficult to differentiate between vocalists due to their uncanny ability to mimmick each other, Jonah's voice cuts in and is instantly recognisable. But without the band plagiarising themselves (I'm not going to mention names, cos I've not heard Metallica's Unforgiven Too)

Mother Mary, which was aired on Far's trek with The Deftones last October would sound like the obvious choice for a single, while Wear It So Well and Man Overboard sound like strong Far material. As with Tin Cans, some of the slower songs take the longest to get your head around, but also sound like they will be some of the most rewarding in the long run.

There are times on this album when the comparison with Sensefield becomes more justfied, maybe an indication that there is more "emo" on this album than previously. There's also a far (sorry!) stronger sense of arrangement, with violin's complementing a few of the songs. And it works well, perhaps most notably on one of the album's standout tracks In 2 Again.

Looking back, the end of the Tin Cans album got a little hard going, but this time round, it grips you from start to end. And so my initial disappointment that the album was "only" 42 minutes long gets tempered. Maybe a few other bands should consider putting out shorter albums filled with quality, instead of "taking advantage of how much CDs store". Then they'd avoid some of the tedium which settles in with overly long albums.

All that's needed now is a quick return to these shores.