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Farflung - 25,000 Feet Per Second CD (album) cover

25,000 FEET PER SECOND

Farflung

 

Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.81 | 7 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Neu!mann
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Farflung emissions have been crossing my third eye for years, but only recently have I made an effort to explore their catalogue in depth. So imagine my surprise upon learning that the band, after churning out stellar Space Rock (pun intended) for almost two decades, hasn't received a single review so far in these pages.

Is our progressive net stretched so wide and so thin that it no longer captures those maverick fishes unwilling to swim in crowded, more conspicuous schools? Or does the band hail from an alien galaxy too far beyond our comprehension, in that alternate reality known as Los Angeles, California?

No matter, as Albert Einstein might have said. Allow me to introduce them, briefly and belatedly.

Farflung is a legitimate heir to the throne of early HAWKWIND, taking up that heavy cosmic scepter and carrying it boldly into the 21st century. Their first album, long out-of-print but now resurrected in digital form (with bonus tracks), saw the band escaping the drag of Earth's gravity using hard motorik rhythms beneath a wall of electric guitars, all plugged into what sounds like every flanger, phase shifter and echo box between LA and Alpha Centauri.

The music is very loud and suitably spaced out, but has a certain tongue-in-cheek, retro (rocket) awareness: look at the Buck Rogers cover art, and listen to all the laser beam synthesizers. Or consider the fourteen-plus minute "Landing On Cydonia", an obvious album highlight, the title a reference to that Martian valley where gullible pseudo-scientists once imagined an uncanny human face carved into the extraterrestrial rock. From its atypically melodic, almost Floydian introduction, through the floating Krautrock mid-section to the kick-in-the-scrotum finale, this is quintessential Farflung, and worth the repetition of a bonus demo version, which adds B-movie sci-fi sound samples and a curious band dialogue.

"Farflung never actually sat down and wrote songs", said guitarist Tommy Grenas in a 2003 interview. "We always would get blasted and just jam..." an amusing observation, but not entirely true. There's an energy and focus here not often found in outer space, and the music carries too much residual booster-power for the Stoner Rock image the band likes to cultivate.

That same casual attitude, combined with an equally informal personnel roster, may have denied them the rewards of wider commercial success. But cult groups like Farflung are better suited to a surreptitious, below-the-radar flight plan anyway, and on this initial lift-off their trajectory was sure.

Neu!mann | 4/5 |

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