Monday, October 4, 2010

Band 3: The Fray

Welcome back to my blog. I thank you for the visit. 

Over the last few months, I've fallen completely in love with The Fray. The alt. rock band that formed in Colorado in 2002 by 2 old schoolmates. Now, you may be asking yourselves, "Who were these fine young gents?". Well, internet, I've got some superb facts to lay on you.
The 2 that originally formed the group were pianist/vocalist Isaac Slade and guitarist Joe King. The men in question reconnected after high school, and started regular jam sessions. The 2 began writing songs, and soon added drummer Zach Johnson, and bassists Caleb Slade, the younger brother of Isaac.

As goes with younger brothers, Caleb was soon asked to leave the band. This caused some ripples in the brothers' relationship which inspired their song "Over My Head (Cable Car)", one of my personal favorites. Around the same time, Zach Johnson resigned his position in the band to attend art school in New York. 
Ben Wysocki, who was once in a band with Slade, joined the band as their drummer, while Dave Welsh, another ex-band mate of Slade and Wysocki, joined as lead guitarist. The band, with their new members named themselves "The Fray". 

Within the first year or 2 of their band being fully formed, they released their 2 EP's, "Movement", and "Reason". 'Westord', an alternative weekly distributed newspaper gave them this review for the "Reason" EP. "The music is epic, no doubt, but it's played on a wholly human scale". I could not agree with this statement further. 

In December of 2004, Epic Records, having discovered the band through their review in 'Westword', signed The Fray to the label. Their first album "How to Save A Life" was released September 15th, 2005, and the first single "Over My Head (Cable Car) hit the Modern Rock Tracks chart, coming out at #37. Fourteen weeks later, it reached #8 on the Hot 100 chart. The unofficial single "How to Save A Life", mere weeks after being used in an advertising promotion for the season premier of Gray's Anatomy, their second Top 40 Hit rolled into #3 on the Hot 100 charts.

I'm going to try and pull this to a close so I can get to why I love them so.
Their 2nd album, "The Fray", was released in February of 2009. The lead single "You Found Me" debuted at #28 on the Hot 100 chart, marking their highest debut chart hit. It later peaked at #7. The other singles included Never Say Never, which peaked at #32, while Syndicate never made any notable success in the U.S.

Now, why do I love them? 

First off, having piano as a lead instrument of a rock band is something new with modern music. It's astounding, really. Take the song Hundred from their first album for example. It's a song containing only piano and vocals, but it's so much more than that. The beauty is literally audible. The piano presents to you a line of chords, traveling/slowing down. It has a classical sounds with the modern feel that makes it their own. 

The piano plays a line, repeats the beginning, and brings itself back up again, with a somewhat depressing feel to it, though it's beauty is as apparent as ever. The music fades into silence... soon followed by a deep breath. 

"The how, I can't recall. Now I'm staring at what was once the world... I separated east from west. Now they meet amidst the broad daylight", he sings with a voice that holds power, yet it holds the entire man. I really hated how cliche that sounded, but I couldn't think of a better phrasing for the life of me. 

All of the rest of this album is simply amazing. I really recommend you get your hands on it, by any means.

This post took me at least 3 hours to write. Just passing through pages of research, and facebookery, and television.

Thanks for popping by.

1 comment:

  1. 3 hours? wow man, nice, that you put so much effort in this! also, it's a good read.