The Furniture — Dark Bars


As if conjured up by the long winter, Dark Bars, the initial offering by Boston’s two-piece rock band The Furniture, strikes deep at the heart of the Boston hunker-down-and-ruminate-through-the-snow sentimentality. Nicholas Ward, The Furniture’s guitarist and vocalist, commands a tongue-in-cheek playfulness that never loses sight of a carefully worded sincerity. Dark Bars quickly explores in its four songs matters of the heart and the thoughts that are doomed to follow, adeptly toying with the sparseness and expectations of the two-piece format. Yet the songs wax in unexpected swells as Ward and The Furniture’s drummer, Jeffrey Walsh, show that they are capable of hitting emotional and rock-forward climaxes, parrying back and forth between Americana flavors and a direct-rock mindset.

Dark Bars will sucker punch you in the gut on the worst days and make you dance on the best. It’s this relatable dichotomy that makes Dark Bars so appealing, because as pained as the songs may be, they’re funny and the insight feels weathered and warm. On the final and most confident track of the record, “Loveless Thundering,” Ward fondly smiles out, “I love your dress, ten-to-one I know what you say next,” a joke that both matches the musical tone of the song and lightens the listless and haunting images of drinking away a painful fallout. Ward’s ability to frankly convey the complexities and subtleties of the heart is refreshing and repeatedly unexpected on every listen. It doesn’t hurt that all four songs are damn catchy, either.  —Chris Bergenheim

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