Last July, The Family Business dropped the fantastic Rock and Roll Machine, a notable departure from the rowdier rock and roll of their previous albums and a push towards experimenting with different styles that showcased melody. With the release of the Forefathers EP, The Family Business confirms that this new direction is indeed what we should continue to expect. Forefathers makes sense as a follow-up to Rock and Roll Machine, delivering tight, precise, and melodic music. Lush harmonies roll in like waves and linger pleasantly. Forefathers seems perhaps a little more cohesive than Rock and Roll Machine did, where many songs sounded like intentional nods to various musicians. Forefathers avoids doing this (with the exception of the Who-like “Long Drive”) and instead delivers a single idea unpackaged over the course of six songs.
Interestingly, Forefathers doesn’t include any heavier tracks bar “Long Drive” (which builds its intensity over four minutes not by being particularly heavy, but by becoming increasingly more frantic). The Family Business seem right at home hitting mellow grooves in “Anytime You Want” and plucking sunny, cheerful tunes on electric pianos in “Rest of my Days.” On a few occasions, the material on Forefathers feels like recycled versions of Rock and Roll Machine – “Funeral” invokes “Chances” immediately, but with the horns swapped for fiddles the hoedown doesn’t compare to its predecessor. For the most part, however, Forefathers shows that The Family Business is getting ready to release an LP featuring a fine-tuned, tailored version of the brilliance shown on Rock and Roll Machine.
The Review: 7.5/10
The Big Hit
– Long Drive
Review by Richard MacDougall