In all the time I’ve been doing this you’d have think I’d have learned not to judge a book by its cover but that’s exactly what I did when Above It All, the new album from Arizona rock band Farewell My Love, dropped into my inbox for review. Heading into the first listen expected some half-arsed New Found Glory, Paramore rip-off, it comes a massive shock and, honestly, a bit of a pleasant surprise to find that Farewell, My Love are very much not another two-bit pop-punk band.

And I think that is where the problem lies with Above It All. You see, while they’re definitely not your stereotypical pop-punk band, there are just so many elements that are, not so much nicked from, more “already used by” other bands. You’ve got the sweet pop hooks of Fall Out Boy, the galloping modern metal riffage favoured by bands like Black Veil Brides and Avenged Sevenfold and a dash of emo from My Chemical Romance.

A booming intro in the form of “Welcome To The Beginning” heralds the start of the album and does set the tone for what follows. What that is my friends is a hatful of athemic songs full of fizz and energy starting with the thunderous opener “Burn Out The Night”. From Chad Kowal’s slightly quirky vocals, to the thundering, almost Dragonforce like riffing and solos, Farewell, My Love have certainly turned my expectations on their head before Above It All is even close to being ten minutes old. “Make Believe” is equally is symphonic and dramatic, while “Last Goodbye” sees the band ditch their big riffs and anthemic choruses for something a lot darker both lyrically and musically. Above It All, from start to finish leaves you torn.. one the one hand there isn’t anything here that the aforementioned bands haven’t used to shift millions of albums but, on the other, the boundless energy, the grand feel of the music and the infectious hooks, make this a record it is so hard to dislike.

The album races towards its finale with the pounding hard rock of “Never Stop” before closing with the emotional “Who Are you?” – a slick, classy way to end an album of this nature. In summary then, what you get with Above It All is an album that has plenty of familiar bits but is nicely packaged into an decent end result.

Above It All Track Listing:

01. Welcome To The Beginning
02. Burn Out The Night
03. Crazy
04. Maybe I
05. Inside A Nightmare
06. Make Believe
07. Last Goodbye
08. Skip The Memories II
09. Above It All
10. Don’t Wait For Me
11. Hit Or Miss
12. Never Stop
13. Who Are You?

Release Date: July 22, 2016
Run Time: 46:29

Check out the track “Never Stop” here.

I have an unhealthy obsession with bad horror movies, the song Wanted Dead Or Alive and crap British game shows. I do this not because of the sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll lifestyle it affords me but more because it gives me an excuse to listen to bands that sound like hippos mating.