A large number of split 7” releases that I have listened to, whilst being launched at great events or having excellent artwork, do not deserve repeated listens. The bands or recordings are ill-matched, the songs don’t flow, there are not enough songs included or, whilst being good album tracks do not stand on their own. On the other hand, a good split 7” gets played over and over again at my place and, as a result, a symbiotic bond germinates between the songs on the vinyl – when I hear one, I must hear the other with it. I’m unsure which of these extremes I’ve picked up when I press play on the Farler’s Fury/Jon Creeden Split 7”, but a late night cuppa and a good solid blast through the headphones should help me make up my mind.
“169 King Street” by Farler’s Fury opens proceedings and has a distinct 90s rockabilly/punk sound to it, despite the production being obviously from the 2010s. This reminds me most of The Living End and Blueline Medic due to the unabashed, all-in vocals and completely uninhibited performances from each player in the quintet. The songwriting is impressive too; neat and concise verses, chorus and bridge, all crafted with an appealing nouse.
“The Captain” is a Jon Creeden song performed by Farler’s Fury and very reminiscent of Bodyjar’s finest moments (plus a touch of the bagpipes). This song really gets to you, especially the breakdown and bagpipe vamp over the refrain “don’t say we never tried”. I hungrily track down the Jon Creeden version and am equally impressed; what a cracker of a song. For a great document of the roots to this song, check out Mr Creeden at a BBQ here. I couldn’t tell you which version I prefer, though one thing’s for sure, this is a golden, dare I say perfect, track.
Jon Creeden opens the second half of the split with an acoustic number “Don’t Be Like Me Brendan”. I question the placement of an acoustic song after a full band track due to the tendency for the listener’s ear to be dulled to subtlety after the excitement of a rock song. Investigation unearths the fact that each band has released the 7” with their own two songs as lead tracks. So, in this matter I would prefer the Jon Creeden track-listing as the acoustic material plays first. Regardless, heartfelt vocals, a lively acoustic guitar and a great choral background vocal for the chorus makes for a rousing blend on this track.
The second contribution for Jon Creeden is the Farler’s Fury penned “Queen and the Sea”. Something of a shanty, exemplified by the arpeggio plucking banjo, this track provides a succinct yet enthusiastic end to the 7”. Creeden’s storytelling and vocal abilities are certainly advertised very well on this song. His touring schedule looks very active to which gives me the distinct impression that he doesn’t displease his live audience.
Overall, there is a subtle celtic feel to this release. The minor progressions, gritty vocals and bagpipe/banjo ornaments probably have a lot to do with that. The songs flow very well together, the mixture of performers complement each other like guitars, beers and friends. I imagine any launches for this 7” to be boozy, jovial shindigs with band and audience members kicking on long after closing time. What’s more the length of this release is very generous as far as 7” records go (nearly 11 minutes), and the artwork by Mike Feehan is nothing short of epic.
It is undeniable that Farler’s Fury and Jon Creeden have produced a Split 7” with four excellent songs, all worthy of being singles in their own right. In addition, a very neat twist is that they’ve each included a cover of the other. In their words, ‘loose lips, sink ships,’ so I’ll say no more. If any of this piques your interest then it is more than likely to impress you and your best mates too.
Written by Scott Andrews