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Band shows it is time to join ‘The Fray’

Chris McGrady | Friday, September 23, 2005

Discovering a new great band is like finding money in the pocket of your old favorite coat: You slip on the sleeves of that worn old jacket that has been hanging in your closet since last April and feel the smooth touch of a folded bill. When you withdraw your hand you feel that happy worn caress and look down to see the wrinkled visage of Andrew Jackson smiling back at you, whispering, “spend me.”

This is the same feeling one gets when first listening to The Fray; surprise, nostalgia and above all, a feeling of discovery as your ears are opened to a musically complete, talented and great band. Despite releasing its first CD under the Epic label on Sept. 13, The Fray’s first tracks are just now hitting the airwaves.

Although it’s still premature to compare this band to the likes of greats such as U2 and Coldplay, The Fray possesses that same rare quality of undeniable musical talent and classic sound.

Joe King’s guitar, Dave Welsh’s bass and Ben Wysocki’s drums accompany Isaac Slade’s powerful vocals and deft-handed piano skills. Together the band forms a musical ensemble than can rival, if not outplay, the bulk of superficial and ultimately run-of-the-mill musical groups that flood today’s airways and radios.

Clean and uncompromising in their musical background, The Fray choose to use guitar and piano as the cornerstone of their music and largely stay away from synthesized affects that can detract from the true harmonically strong flavor of their music.

The band’s sophomore album, “How to Save a Life,” could have instead been entitled “How to Make Good Music,” as this disc is impressive.

The album opens with the upbeat song “She is” and continues into the incredibly catchy tune “Over My Head.” This is the type of audio nicotine that will have you humming all day but the catch is, unlike the annoying pop ballads you’re used to crowding your cranium, you’ll want it to get stuck there.

The Fray is so aptly skilled at writing that they seem to have mastered reaching out to their audience -their songs are filled with emotion and feeling and you can hear this in every word of lead singer and pianist Slade’s vocals. The band has the innate ability to sound both new and familiar, inspiring a warm sense of fresh nostalgia.

The Denver-based troupe already has a fiercely loyal following in the Denver metro-area and is quickly expanding their horizons – after performing sold-out shows across the state they are now on tour with Ben Folds.

Their first CD “Reason EP,” was an instant classic in the Denver community and The Fray instantly became an area favorite, winning the Best New Band Award given out by Denver’s Westward Magazine.

The Fray recently opened for popular band The Killers at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, Colo. However, if you walked in late you might not have realized who was opening for whom, as it seemed at times like Fray fans outnumbered the homicidally-inclined in the crowd. This intense following is sure to follow the group across the country.

Put this money-maker in your pocket and keep it; this is one CD that is a welcome addition to any music lover’s collection.

The only thing holding this band back from a perfect rating is the feeling that there is still something more to offer – this band is capable of something amazing.

The battle has begun, my friends. It’s time we all joined The Fray.