Review by Shannon Shumaker
Checkered Past might be Save Ferris’ first new music in eighteen years, but that doesn’t mean they’re rusty by any means. The band's new EP is not only vibrant and soulful, but offers a wide range of sounds that will hold listeners over until (hopefully) a future full-length. Strong songwriting and influences ranging from ska and punk all the way to reggae provide refreshing diversity and a fresh sound from beginning to end.
Making listeners long for summer is the high energy opener, “Anything.” Monique Powell’s strong, soulful vocals drive the track, but without overpowering all of the incredible instrumentation that will make you want to move. Taking a step away from the higher energy on the opening track is “New Sound,” which swaps things for a more laid-back, reggae influenced sound. Although the differences between the two songs are night and day, Save Ferris manage to make the transition without much trouble.
Then, following "New Sound" is the wild and fiery “Golden Silence.” Lyrically, the third track is aggressive as hell and contrasts with the easygoing tone on “New Sound,” and the next song, “Do I Even Like You?” follows suit. These two tracks take on a different tone entirely from the first two songs with brutally honest lyricism delivered with an upbeat, catchy twist. The result is something very comical, optimistic and most of all, human.
For an EP, Checkered Past does an incredible job of giving new listeners a good idea of what to expect from Save Ferris and provides old die-hards with a nice, wide array of tracks to hold them over. From track to track, the band absolutely does not hold back, and normally, the lack of flow between songs might be a bit troubling, but where the album lacks in flow it makes up for high energy, diversity and spectacular songwriting. Bringing things back to that reggae influenced sound is the closing song, “Goodbye Brother,” proving that Checkered Past is more than just a taste test of what to expect from Save Ferris. There might not be an obvious flow between these five songs, but there is absolutely consistency, which makes it a must-listen.
Listen to "Golden Silence" or "Anything"
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