AbsolutePunk.net
   Username
Password
 
Album Review
 
Forgive Durden - Wonderland Album Cover

Forgive Durden - Wonderland

Reviewed by
9.0
Forgive DurdenWonderland
Record Label: Fueled By Ramen Records
Release Date: May 9, 2006

The mere mention of indie label Fueled By Ramen instantly seems to polarize people, conjuring up images of pop rock bands that...well...all sound the same. Cobra Starship’s debut album left a bad taste in many mouths. Calling the Cute Is What We Aim For debut “terrible” would be an understatement. The recently signed The Cab showed that they have nothing to offer except a strong desire to capitalize on labelmate Panic! At The Disco’s undeserved success. To see a label that once housed bands like Days Away and Jimmy Eat World in this state would normally be disheartening, but never fear; Forgive Durden is here. Debut album Wonderland, with its mathy instrumentation, scenic lyrics, and approachable pop sensibility, is easily one of the best records that FBR will ever stick their happy-face logo on. And unfortunately, one of the most overlooked.

We are introduced to the dark world that is Wonderland with “Ants!,” sporting a catchy bass line, eventually giving way to Thomas’s slightly hushed vocals over a bouncy electric piano. The chorus, despite being relatively obvious, is a sufficient metaphor for the greed in Wonderland. “Beware The Jubjub Bird...” borrows its name from a Lewis Carroll poem, and like the song before it, shines lyrically. “Ear To Ear” is the most eccentric of the songs on Wonderland, with its frequent Damiera-esque time changes, and the incorporation of a plethora (I love that word) of unconventional instruments. The following song, country-tinged “Parable Of The Sower,” is as unpredictable as it is catchy. The not-so-subtle “Il Tengo Della Signora...” is a tale of sex and lust that also undergoes frequent unpredictable twists and turns. After a 96-second interlude, we are launched into “The Great Affair Is To Move,” which gives Thomas a chance to stretch his range a bit. “Harry Frazee” is rather uninteresting upon first listen, but is truly an album standout. The next song, “For A Dreamer, Night’s The Only Time Of Day,” is fun, poppy, and just plain infectious, but also is hellbent on maintaining Durden’s high lyrical standard.

The final two songs are the slowest on the record, and are downright stunning. The similarities end at the tempo, however. “I’ve Got A Witch Mad At Me” is a beautiful, almost hopeful, song. It’s almost asking “Is there a light at the end of the tunnel?” The last ten seconds, however, scream the answer to that question as “no,” with Thomas pleading “No matter how far we go / There’s no escaping the glow / We’ll take our seats at the throne / Wonderland is now our home.” While it's by no means an incredibly profound lyric, it’s sobering to think that the ugly, greed-filled world that they’ve described is actually ours. The haunting album closer, misleadingly titled “Cue The Sun,” actually shows no sign of sunlight, but predicts that the rain will continue indefinitely. It’s a fitting ending to such a gloomy album.

I know that these days, it’s painfully cliché to end a positive review with “check it out now” or “pick it up.” But it’s simply unavoidable with an album as overlooked and superb as Wonderland. And one of the best things about it is that you don’t have to be a fan of a specific genre to enjoy this album. It’s easy for anyone to get into this stunning debut.

So check it out now.

Tracklisting
1. Ants!
2. Beware The Jubjub Bird And Shun The Frumious Bandersnatch
3. Ear To Ear
4. Parable Of The Sower
5. Il Tango Della Signora Frencesco Di Bartolommeo Di Zanobi Del Giocono
6. A Dead Person Breathed On Me!
7. The Great Affair Is To Move
8. Harry Frazee And The No No Nanette
9. For A Dreamer, Night’s The Only Time Of Day
10. I’ve Got A Witch Mad At Me And You Could Get Into Trouble
11. Cue The Sun

LinksBuy PureVolume MySpace Official Website
This review is a user submitted review from Praetor. You can see all of Praetor's submitted reviews here.
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 22
10:12 PM on 06/22/07
#2
Nathan Lint
That's the real joke
Offline
User Info.
Nathan Lint's Avatar
Such a great record. I pulled it out today.
11:47 PM on 06/22/07
#3
allisterkid
here since blink fansite
Offline
User Info.
allisterkid's Avatar
Holy shit. How old are you? You're way better at writing than you should be if you're 13 like it says you are!
08:19 AM on 06/23/07
#4
TBSEmoKid
...Is not really emo.
Offline
User Info.
TBSEmoKid's Avatar
this review is amazing.I could never get into this release and this review has made me want to try again.Great job.
08:24 AM on 06/23/07
#5
Praetor
bippity boppity
Offline
User Info.
Praetor's Avatar
Such a great record. I pulled it out today.
I really wish more people would talk about it. It truly is one of my favorite albums to be released after 2000.
Holy shit. How old are you? You're way better at writing than you should be if you're 13 like it says you are!
Haha, thank you.
this review is amazing.I could never get into this release and this review has made me want to try again.Great job.
That's great, thanks for the compliment. Tell me what you think of the album once you relisten.
08:20 PM on 06/23/07
#6
CircaSin
The All-New 2014 Corolla
Offline
User Info.
CircaSin's Avatar
the cd isnt bad. sounds like Gatsby and Panic having a baby, which isnt a good thing..but at times works.. I'm pretty sure they arent what saves fueled by ramen though.
09:44 AM on 06/24/07
#8
Praetor
bippity boppity
Offline
User Info.
Praetor's Avatar
I don't like them. They basically took GAD and removed everything which makes them good.
Your avatar is very familiar, but I can't seem to place it, and it's bugging the hell out of me.
09:39 AM on 06/29/07
Johnny Minardi
Offline
User Info.
Johnny Minardi's Avatar
Amazing review! I couldn't agree more. Glad others love this record as much as I do.
09:51 AM on 06/29/07
meh
Mae
Offline
User Info.
meh's Avatar
I love this record. I've been listening to it for days staright. It's amazing.
09:52 AM on 06/29/07
meh
Mae
Offline
User Info.
meh's Avatar
Whoa, Praetor... We have the same statement-thing under our name. (Except I'm a girl.)
10:07 AM on 06/29/07
Scott Weber
Live Like a Legend
Offline
User Info.
Scott Weber's Avatar
Haha, pretty much identical to the staff review (mine.)
10:17 AM on 06/29/07
Praetor
bippity boppity
Offline
User Info.
Praetor's Avatar
Haha, pretty much identical to the staff review (mine.)
Right down to the scores, lol.
11:17 AM on 06/29/07
saving jonathan
everything in transit
Offline
User Info.
saving jonathan's Avatar
i really love "for a dreamer..." i really do.
as for the rest of the record... i can't say it lives up.
sheesh, congrats kid, you've convinced me to give this another listen on my way to canada tonight.
ya lil shit.

NEWS, MUSIC & MORE
Search News
Release Dates
Exclusives
Best New Music
Articles
CONNECT
Submit News
Forums
Contests
Mobile Version
AP.net Logos
HIDDEN TREASURES
AbsolutePunk Podcast
Free Music
Sports Forum
Technology Forum
Recommendations
INFORMATION
Advertising
Contact Us
Copyright Policy
Terms of Service
Privacy Policy
FOLLOW
Twitter | Facebook | RSS
PropertyOfZack
UnderTheGun
Purevolume
Chorus.fm | @jason_tate