BEST FAREWELL ALBUM 2005 Award Winner!
Five Iron Frenzy wanted to go out with a bang and give their fans the best possible final release that they could… and they did.
They recorded a new full-length studio album that features their best-sounding (and most consistently heavy-rocking) music ever (Disc One), and packaged that with a complete recording of their final live show (Disc Two) to create the perfect farewell gift.
The End Is Near begins with “Cannonball”, an excellent, vocally-exuberant and musically-rocking song. Five Iron’s sound quality and musicianship has improved so much that, the instant you hear it, you know this is going to be a great record.
“At Least I’m Not Like All Those Other Old Guys” is a perfect example of Reese Roper’s usual self-mocking humor. Its lyrics are hilarious and the music is solid, making for another excellent track.
“So Far, So Bad” again has hilarious lyrics, describing what this song was going to be about but it’s no use making it because you’d never hear it anyway, etc.
“New Year’s Eve” lyrically states that it’s just another day— many ‘New Year’s Resolutions’ are superficial or halfhearted, and won’t work because real change must come from the inside out and be a true commitment (not just some feel-good ‘resolution’).
“American Kryptonite” is simply amazing. Its lyrics rebuke people who merely take and consume and never give or sacrifice; musically and vocally, it’s excellent— building right to the end, where (for the first time) we hear Reese genuinely screaming the final bridge, getting more and more intense, the music matching perfectly. This is definitely one of FIF’s all-time best tracks.
“It Was Beautiful” is a medium-paced, happy and reflective track about their years as a band.
“Wizard Needs Food, Badly” is a very cute song about a relationship. Its lyrics are quite humorous (he wants to watch sports and play video games, while she wants him to help out around the house, etc.).
“Farewell To Arms” tries to get through to someone who is very hateful and who isn’t thinking rationally or clearly. Again, this has great music.
“See The Flames Begin To Crawl” is actually a song about the band breaking up! And, again, it features excellent music.
“Anchors Away” describes how what once was truly news is now being sold like commercials and is plainly no longer objective. [: Amazingly, this song is even more relevant today than when this album came out in 2004!]
“Something Like Laughter” is a medium-paced (though fast-drummed) rock track that is filled with hope.
“That’s How The Story Ends” is a humorous attempt to reference, ‘explain’, and/or provide a conclusion to a slew of their previous songs. It’s pretty hilarious, especially if you know those songs’ lyrics.
Finally, “On Distant Shores” is another amazing rock track (in fact it could arguably be considered Five Iron’s best track of all time). Throughout the song, Reese continuously builds his voice ever higher and more powerfully until it reaches an incredible crescendo. Then, to finish it off, they add in the last few lines of “Every New Day”, which was the song they had always played to end their live shows. It’s a beautiful touch, and a perfect close to the song, the CD, and their recording career.
Bonus Track: “The Cross Of St. Andrew” at first rebukes hypocrites, then explains what truly matters. Attached is a hidden track featuring some interesting segments from some of their final-tour live shows.
(We recommend listening to this disc entirely through headphones— you’ll feel like you’re there.)
A complete live recording of Five Iron Frenzy’s last show, The End Is Here is not only a great recording of the live music and the humorous banter in between songs, but also a fairly heart-wrenching tribute and finale to the band’s existence. By the end of the show, the emotions of the crowd and the bandmembers (and their farewell words) are amazingly powerful.
Needless to say, this disc is a must-hear for anyone who even marginally liked F.I.F.— be prepared to experience their farewell in a very personal way.
In all, Five Iron Frenzy capped their career with the best studio album they ever produced, and that— combined with the recording of their last live show— makes this a truly excellent final release.