Producer Marc McClusky has been quite a busy man over the past year or so. He's worked with acts such as Powerspace, Scenes From A Movie, June and countless others. Arguably his best work so far though belongs to Isn't This Supposed To Be Fun!?, the Epitaph debut from sextet FAREWELL. Isn't This Supposed To Be Fun!? does a wonderful job of twisting rock, pop, and synth together to make for a very enjoyable listen, though not one that you'll get tired of listening to anytime soon. The unique melodies and the lack of headache inducing vocals that are ever so popular in powerpop releases today are what is going to separate this album from all the rest in the genre this year. Plus, how sweet is that cover art?
The record kicks off with "Start It Up" a song with an opening riff that could be mistaken for a track off Cartel's Chroma. I'd like to describe it as my morning crack - the song that I need to listen to on my way to class in the morning to give me that much needed hop in my step. Next up comes "Anchors Away" a song so catchy that even the 'on and on and on's at the end of the song get stuck in your head. I don't know if you've ever had two words that literally play "on and on" in your head, but it will drive you insane. Luckily, "First One On The Blog" will quickly take its place with its infectious chorus and energetic verses. It's no surprise on why "First One On The Blog" is the album's first single. With a TRL friendly music video, there's no room that could hold all the potential it has to blow up. The next song "Stay Pretty" is musically reminiscent of the first three songs, which provides an excellent flow to the record and never leaves you restless. Isn't This Supposed To Be Fun!? drops the tempo a bit with the next song "War" It starts off as mellow but then soon changes to typical FAREWELL which then repeats periodically throughout the song.
My favorite song (And the one that originally got me hooked) off of Isn't This Supposed To Be Fun!? is "Eighty-Eights" The two and a half minute, synth-happy track will definitely be a fan favorite as it is a song that anyone could easily relate to. Vocalist Marshall Davis sings about leaving his hometown but does a good job not making such a generic topic cheesy and cliche. "Zelda" is the track following and is best described as equivalent to the video game of the same title - which obviously makes the song totally awesome. Isn't This Supposed To Be Fun!?'s closer "Fed To The Fire" ends the album well and will no doubt make you want to hit the repeat button.
What I love about Isn't This Supposed To Be Fun!? is the fact that each song pretty much follows the same formula. I know, I make it seem like that's a bad thing, but it's really not. There's nothing more disappointing about a band that releases an anticipated album and decides to try and venture outside of what they're great at (I'm looking at you, Cartel's self titled), and FAREWELL doesn't disappoint by any means at all.