Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#743 in the Series) is Farewell Fighter, The Way We Learn
The sun was setting on Milwaukee’s ’11 Warped Tour, and crowds of pierced and tattooed youth were making their way out of the fairgrounds, exhausted from a long day of dancing, jumping, and moshing. I was among them, glad to have seen my top bands and was ready for the cold bottles of water I had stored in my car. But as I moved into the parking lot, I was a lone figure with a sign and a box of EP’s. It was a common sight – a lot of bands follow the Warped Tour without buying entry, trying to sell their CDs to the kids going in and out. He was armed with a boombox and a few pairs of headphones, asking anyone to give it a listen. I glanced at the parking structure, which was now filled with bumper to bumper traffic, and figured that I’d just be sitting in my car anyway.
“Sure,” I said, “I’ll listen.”
His eyes lit up and he forked over the music, which was already in the middle of a track. I listened – it was pop punk, I could tell that much, with a strong vocalist and smooth guitars. I caught the last minute or so, and it clicked over to the next song. The guy – I assumed he was in the band – shifted from foot to foot, trying to gauge my reaction. But I wanted to get my money’s worth.
However, the opening verses of the next song were so blatantly honest I had to choke back a laugh.
Well everything I’m learning/Has got to do with sex/And I don’t really think I’m ready/For all this stress/’Cause I can’t get girls to like me/If I don’t learn how to dance/And with my two left feet I know I’m out/I’ll never stand a chance, no…
I looked back at the guy, whose eyes were filled with horror that I was chuckling at his music creation but I just shrugged and said, “Gee, you guys don’t hold back.”
He nodded, unsure if I was still making fun of him or not.
But that’s the continual thing I always have to say about The Way We Learn EP – it’s all about being truthful. There’s never any beating around the bush or flowery metaphors here. Just the adventures in growing up and growing down and everything in between, with a little bit of reflection thrown in for good measure. It’s an album about being stuck in the middle of feeling like you know everything and realizing that the world’s way too big for you to figure out.
I let the rest of the track play out, then removed the headphones.
“I’ll take it.”
He positively glowed and fumbled for a printed sleeve in his box.
“Thanks a ton, we’re Farewell Fighter by the way. Here,” he babbled, and I had to remind him to take my five dollars in exchange.
Walking away, I checked out the track listing – I had heard the end of “Never Have I Ever” and all of “Love, Lust Or Losing It” – and had five more songs to listen to on the way home. And I did, with the volume turned most of the way up and windows down.
The thing I have to say most about The Way We Learn is how well each song fits on the album.
Each is different in its own way but they all carry the same theme and weight. “Well Wishing” is a quick and snappy introduction to the album while “Golden” is a five minute ballad that slowly eases you out of the world they’ve created. The rest of the tracks meld together to create a well-rounded and snarky first album that will remain at the top of most playlists for more than just the summer.
According to their twitter, Farewell Fighter will be following parts of Warped again this year – I can only hope a few more fans get the same experience as I did.
- Well Wishing
- Growing Pains
- Never Have I Ever
- Love, Lust, Or Losing It?
- Where I Belong
- Kenny Fleetwood – Vocals ,Guitar
- Lee Morton – Guitar, Vocals
- Matt Hooper – Drums
- David Jahns- Bass