Five Way Friday - 2000 Run Like This

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ARTIST: Five Way Friday
ALBUM: Run Like This
LABEL: Mile Marker Records
SERIAL: FWF-0003
YEAR: 2000

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: image
LINEUP: Randy Helmly - vocals * Michael Helmly - rhythm guitar, vocals * Mac Leaphart - rhythm and lead guitars * Gibbs Leaphart - bass * Michael McWhorter - hammond, piano, mellotron, backing vocals * Joe Good - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Falling Away * 02 Lost Along The Way * 03 Everyone * 04 Pace * 05 Does Anybody Care * 06 Pushing Back Tomorrow * 07 Eve of St. Agnes * 08 Far Apart * 09 She's Alone * 10 No Time For Lonely

Background

If you happened to watch the hugely popular US teen soap Dawson's Creek, you should have heard of Five Way Friday by now. For those who didn't (or who don't live in the US), it is surely only a matter of time before you will.

The South Carolina six piece had the song 'Homecoming' (from their debut CD 'Moon Driven World') featured as part of the episode's soundtrack and on the evidence of 'Run Like This' it shouldn't be long before a few more of their tunes are incorporated into the show.

Coming across as a rootsy, unique blend of Gin Blossoms, Matchbox 20, Marc Cohn and Bruce Hornsby, Five Way Friday certainly have their influences etched on their arm, but importantly manage to create a tattoo of their own.

Quite simply, 'Run Like This' is one of those records that make you want to thank God for creating an independent music scene. A record oozing so much class it proves that there are bands out there who have as much, if not more to offer as major label bands. And a record which should have Five Way Friday beating off the attentions of record label executives with a rather large stick.

The Songs

The record explodes out of the blocks with opener 'Falling Away', a rocking tune which initiates comparisons with Matchbox 20 in particular and which has the uncanny knack of making you believe you have heard this band somewhere before.

By all accounts, the band has toughened up its sound with the help of veteran producer Jeff Powell and the riff and gang vocals on the immensely catchy 'Lost Along The Way'. And the potential singles keep on coming.

'Pace', with a quirky acoustic intro is the kind of thoughtful yet undeniably commercial song which bounces along with some aplomb, whilst the effervescent 'Everyone' is a slice of Gin Blossoms type pop with a hook so big it could catch prize winning salmon.

A band containing two sets of brothers can't fail to be musically tight, but what really gives Five Way Friday's guitar based rock/pop an extra dimension is the understated yet excellent keys work of Michael McWhorter. His piano and Hammond contributions add a delicate texture to the instant 'Pushing Back Tomorrow', simply outstanding stand out song 'She's Alone' and the moody closer, 'No Time For Lonely'.

McWhorter's piano and Randy Helmly's emotive vocals on the latter make for a particularly haunting combination. Don't listen to this tune if you have just experienced a relationship break up; you'll be reaching for the Kleenex quicker than Gwyneth Paltrow accepting an Oscar. Five Way Friday's songs deliver lyrically too, with the cliche free lyrics of Randy Helmly and Mac Leaphart providing an impressive depth to match the music.

The social commentary of 'Does Anybody Really Care' packs a particular punch. As far as negatives go, 'Far Apart' is perhaps the weakest cut on the record, but considering what has come before it, that's no great shame. In fact the only major complaint is that with the addition of one or two extra tunes, the album could be longer.

In Summary

Originally released in February, when it impressively achieved Top 5 status in Internet album sales (behind such notable big shots as Santana and Celine Dion), 'Run Like This' should get a renewed impetus from FWF's exposure on Dawson's Creek.

It may even take the band onto bigger things. Whatever the outcome of the show's exposure, Five Way Friday's songs, musical ability and vibe should see them hit such heights regardless of a leg-up from Pacey and Dawson.


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