Farewell, My Love
Crossing pop-punk with hair metal, Farewell, My Love created a sound and aesthetic that combined theatrics with youthful energy. Founded in Phoenix, Arizona in 2011, the first incarnation of Farewell began with drummer Chad Kowal, guitarist Robby Creasey, vocalist Caleb Harbin, and bassist Gary Grant. Their original intent was to combine a Tim Burton vibe with dramatic delivery, but their initial output was mostly emphatic punk like the Juliana Theory or Alkaline Trio with added bells and whistles. Debut EP A Dance You Won't Forget was released in 2011 and would be the only output with Harbin at the fore. In 2012, the band parted ways with Grant and Harbin, recruiting Charlee Conley as the new bassist, Logan Thayer as an additional guitarist, and South African singer Ryan Howell (the Monroes) as their new singer. Farewell v2.0 switched musical directions, though the lineup would not last long. An aggressive '80s hair metal look matched the band's new sound, like a blending of My Chemical Romance with Poison or Mötley Crüe. Their first release with Howell was the Mirror, Mirror EP, a five-song set that included a cover of Bon Jovi's "It's My Life." Their first LP, Gold Tattoos, followed later that year. Despite the prolific output, both Howell and Thayer left the band on good terms, choosing to pursue their own projects. Kowal left his seat at the drum kit and took over as the new singer. Another EP aimed at unveiling a fresh vocalist was released in 2014. Wrapped Up in Pinstripes was fully acoustic, composed of sweeping reworkings -- less like MCR and more like the Dear Hunter -- of past Farewell, My Love songs spun with Kowal's more controlled vocal style. This third iteration of the band continued touring into 2015, recruiting London Mckuffey on guitar. In 2016, the band underwent a minor makeover, toning down its makeup-and-leather look and incorporating more melody and power pop influence into its music. The first taste came with the single "Crazy," a bouncy number with an anthemic chorus and horn flares. Their sophomore LP, Above It All, arrived in July 2016. ~ Neil Z. Yeung
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