Somehow, worship bands have been given a stigma- a box in which to comfortably reside away from creativity and imagination. David Crowder Band and others in recent years have freely begun to explore the art in praise. Enter a young band called Something Like Silas. SLS began to color outside the lines as well until 2006, when with only two of the original members remaining, they changed their name and Future of Forestry was born.
The sound is an odd, sometimes melancholic petri dish of modern praise music and just about every single indie rock sensibility there is. Songs with simple structure are layered to feel deeper than they really are. Pervasive piano melodies, synth effects and distorted guitars… but if stripped of the garnish, I think some of these tunes might be easier to work into a Sunday morning service than even some of Crowder's stuff. But it's precisely in those subtle flavors that FOF sets themselves aside from other bands of comparable scheme.
Standout tracks like "All I Want" and the band-defining "Gazing" really give a sense of the epic theater of sound Future of Forestry is obviously trying to obtain. They don't fully realize it this time around, but the obvious influences of Mute Math and U2 give the hope of future polish. The album opener 'Open Wide' reveals another facet, one of energy and all-around catchiness. Everything rounds out nicely by employing beautifully soft, rainy-day asides like "If You Find Her," before settling into what is truly the spiritual foundation- the grand worship song "Stay Beside Me."
Even though some of the better tracks from the last year's self-titled EP are missing, Twilight is a worthy re-imagining of the explorative, artistic nature of Something Like Silas. It's not a rehashing of old formulas, as any fan of the former will tell you. The potential is there, and even though the worshipper's heart is in it, it never seems preachy. The often introspective writing is solid, the musicianship is imaginative, but overall, it just seems to be a taste of what's to come. It's like the listeners are given worthy glimpses of grandness in preparation for the real thing. I suppose that's really what worship is anyway- a splinter of what - and Who - is to come...- Review date: 1/23/07, written by David Goodman
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