John Gutenberger

Unsung Masterpieces: Far- Water and Solutions

617M0HMR75LIn 1998 Far released what is considered by many to be one of the top 10 influential albums of the “emo” movement in music, Water and Solutions. This record and band attracted a strong cult following in the late 1990s, due to the single “Mother Mary” and the band touring with long time friends in Deftones and Incubus. The album itself had a more melodic sound and richer fuller production thanks to Dave Sardy, who was the producer on this album. The lyrical subject matter of Jonah Matranga and his vocals stretched from the raw screams to a more soulful singing voice, thus providing a real sense of intimacy for the listener to relate the words to. Musically the band has always been on point. Shaun Lopez distorted guitar and his remarkable tone is highly influential. His knack for creating a driving riff with the right amount of melody is often replicated but never quite the same as he does it. The rhythm section of John Gutenberger and the hard hitting drums of Chris Robyn were as tight as tight can be. John’s bass bellowed with the right amount of thump to push Chris’s heavy playing into the heights of the right amount of heaviness needed to fit with Shaun’s playing and Jonah’s vocals.

Sadly, not long after they released Water and Solutions, the band broke up. Though in 2008, the band reformed for a handful of US dates, and also a small UK tour. And in 2010, released a new album At Night We Live via Vagrant Records. At Night We Live is a solid album, and not just a throwback. Again though in 2011 it was announced that  Far would not be be getting back together as there was just “too much drama.”

Far is one of those bands who will always be recognized for the great work they did, the material they put out, and the bands they influenced. And those of us who were fortunate to see them will always know that for sure.

Far- Water and Solutions:

By: Brian Lacy