The seed that sprouted Farkus was planted when singer-songwriter Tony Maguire and guitarist Brian Gillham bonded back in high school on the north side of Chicago. Late last spring Maguire began asking Gillham for his thoughts on some music he had been writing and before they knew it, they were jamming and performing with drummer Dave Durdov and bassist/vocalist Matt Kircher weekly. The plan was to not make a debut until they had full command of their material. When seeing their energetic and endearing show, I never would have imaged that it was only their fifth show in front of a live audience
I never expected to see four musicians so full of energy and spontaneity. They packed a big punch with the slow, steady and sexy rhythms of bassist Kircher and drummer Durdov. Primary singer and songwriter, Tony Maguire, suavely blends the vocal stylings of Jim Morrison and Ian Asbury of the Cult while maintaining his own unique whispered vocal styling. Guitarist Brian Gillham adds a golden touch, complimenting the soaring harmonies of these whimsical songs. He is simultaneously Stone Gossard and Mike McCready (of Pearl Jam) as he segues between the rousing and intricately crafted melodies and supercharged rhythms. On the languid and gorgeous song "Wash", Gillham surprised me as he genteelly interchanged his playing style making you feel as if there were two of him. During this number, all eyes were on his fingers while all ears were on the mesmerizing vocals of Tony Maguire. I watched a handful of young women approach the stage entranced as they hung on every lyric. The live performance of slow building "Wash" had an extended jam which led to a "Baba O'Riley" crescendo, completely captivating the crowd
FarkusCategorizing Farkus' sound is difficult as it has small dashes of pop, metal and punk with a large underlying sound forged from early 90's alternative bands like Soundgarden, Alice In Chains and Pearl Jam. Their four-song self-titled EP is represented at every one of their shows and each of these songs has a steady beat with dramatic shifts in tempo and tones. As much as I enjoy these songs on the EP, hearing them live is where the music truly came to life. "Chance" is a driving rocker with guitars upfront and took off when performed live. "Believe" is a melancholy ballad with a radio-ready chorus, while "Angeline" is the bands signature song with its slowly building melodies climaxing in a full out jam that enraptured the audience. "Angeline" is one of those songs that gives your body an undeniable jolt of joy.