Album Review – Wonderland (Forgive Durden)

First listening to this album, it's incredibly fresh. The sound is unique and the lyrics are entertaining in their metaphors. However, listening more and more, I see that this is yet another emo band from Fueled By Ramen. But this isn't necessarily a bad thing…

As I said, the sound is truly unique: the guitars whine with overdrive and the crash cymbals roar in the background. The band has a good sound in this way, their chords and various rhythms are unique. This is especially evident in the album's 5th song–I hope I pronounce this correctly–Il Tango Della Signora Francesco Di Bartolommeo Di Zanobi Del Giocondo, which is a pun on the traditional tango dance song.

The lead singer's voice is traditionally (at least now) high-pitched, and he produces the lyrics quite deliberately. The lyrics themselves are creative if a little cynical. This isn't bad, the tone of the lyrics fits the tone of the song, especially in Beware The Jubjub Bird And Shun The Frumious Bandersnatch.

Songs like Parable of the Sower show the band's true creative talent: they manage to be fresh without being annoying. Parable transforms from bluegrass (complete with banjo) to emo to Irish drinking song (complete with rowdy background shouters). It's quite entertaining to listen to. One could make the comparisson between Forgive Durden and their label-neighbors Panic! At The Disco. However, listening to this band is a much less intrusive experience than Panic!'s album. If you're just getting into the Fueled By Ramen crowd, check out Forgive Durden before Panic!

The album art and included booklet are actually quite beautiful: they have a sort of "Jack's Mannequin" vibe (another good band to check out). Colorful drawings accompany the band's colorful songs. To conclude, this is not an album that can be passively listened to: it must be carefully examined as to learn of the band's full intent. While it's not perfect (the songs can be overly-ironic at times), Wonderland brings something quite fresh to a seemingly-monotonous genre. It is especially strong for a debut album, which is why Forgive Durden's Wonderland earns a four out of five.

Track Listing

  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 Francesco Di Bartolommeo Di Zanobi Del Giocondo
  6. A Dead Person Breathed On Me!
  7. The Great Affair Is To Move
  8. Harry Frazee And 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 Might Get Into Trouble
  11. Cue The Sun

Definately Download:

  • Ear To Ear
  • Parable Of The Sower
  • Il Tango Della Signora Francesco Di Bartolommeo Di Zanobi Del Giocondo
  • For A Dreamer, Night's The Only Time Of Day

There are no songs to truly avoid, really, I suggest you hear them all; the above are just my favorites.Forgive Durden's debut album Wonderland is available now from Fueled By Ramen (2006).

Buy from Fueled By Ramen's Online Store
Buy from Best Buy


One response to “Album Review – Wonderland (Forgive Durden)

  1. Nice review!! Colorado is fantastic; I will post more pics of the mountains soon. I’ve added you to my blogroll as well.

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