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Farside "Rigged" CD

Posted on Friday, December 23rd, 2005 @ 11:29am » permalink

Farside - RiggedI sincerely feel sorry for anyone who's a simple fan of good music that has never heard this band before, so this is my "holiday" gift to you. (Yes, "The War on Christmas" rages on!)

Apparently formed in 1989, what would become Farside's core membership also experienced various levels of overlapping involvement in west coast hardcore bands like 411, Borderline, Collateral Damage, God Forgot, Headfirst, Ice, and Triggerman during the early-90's, and future regretfully mainstream rebel Zack de la Rocha was actually their original guitar player. But none of that has much of anything to do with the fact that everything the band went on to release via Revelation Records (which comprises the majority of their discography, as well as every Farside record that actually matters) is quite solid. In fact, the label even refers to 1994's "Rigged" as "possibly the best record ever", and for once I can actually support the hype of such an exaggerated statement, because this is without a doubt one of the greatest records of all time in my opinion.

Is it melodic hardcore? Is it emo? I don't care what the fuck it is, every song on this record is an example of absolute brilliance on every level, from the inimitable vocal tradeoffs between guitarists Michael "Popeye" Vogelsang and Kevin Murphy, to the superbly layered riffs that mask their subtle complexities within a remarkable combination of tactful heaviness and overwhelming melody. Plus… the shit is just catchy as hell! When I bought this CD as a kid it didn't leave my rotation for at least three months, and the digipack is among the most battered and worn with use in my entire collection. I don't think I'll need to convince you of much more after you hear for yourself, but I have to say… if you don't appreciate this record there's a good possibility that I might hate you.

Farside "Square One"
Farside "Silver Anniversary"

Thankfully, unlike so many other amazing records that are over a decade old, you can still buy this unparalleled masterpiece directly from the label for $11. All these kids today who go apeshit over Taking Back Sunday or whatever happenstance bands are selling hundreds of thousands of records out of sheer luck of timing should cut the shit and realize where true talent really lies. Every last one of those fucking bands could learn a thing or 5,000 from the supreme impeccability of this album. I don't know where any of these guys are today, but I've missed the hell out of this band ever since they announced their untimely dissipation, and were "Rigged" released today it would be an unforgivable crime were it not one of the most popular records in the world.

"Possibly the best record ever"? Yeah, that is a damn good possibility. So do yourself a favor and buy it:

@ RevHQ


  1. Anonymous says:

    Great choice. I had purchased the first CD, loved it but thought that the production wasn’t all that great. The acoustic guitar was a little loud and distracting at times. Great songs though. But when Rigged came out, I was going to pass it up because I was a college student with no money. But the first semester of my sophomore year, I was a DJ at the college radio station, and Square One was in our daytime format. Once I heard that song, I needed to buy the album as soon as possible. It had a big full sound and every song had some awesome little part that made you rewind the CD so you could hear it again and again. The next EP was all right, and the Monroe Doctrine, had some great songs on it but too many songs, and some silly nonsense that should have been cut.
    Popeye is playing second guitar for the Aquabats, and the other guys kind of disappeared.


  2. carlosNYC says:

    Our singer/guitarist always plays the intro riff to "Gesture" when we do a soundcheck. No one ever knows where it came from.



  3. Karl 585 says:

    I totally realized that all of my hardcore friends were idiots when they didn't like this record. Apparently it wasn't tough enough. I have probably listened to this album at least once a month since i bought it . . . every song is amazing. Your taste in music is damn near impeccable.

  4. Gabriel says:

    Good shit. I actually still like Zach de la Rocha, and speaking of, run a piece on Inside Out, because the world needs to know.

    Also, amusingly enough, today I tried to access Aversionline from the computer at my new job, and it was blocked as pornography. Hilarious.

  5. Carter says:

    Fuckin'awesome album! Great pick. Thanks for the tidbit about Zach De La Rocha – I never knew that.

  6. slavis says:

    Great f'n record!!! The pure definition of HOOK. Everything about this record is so damn right, the songwriting, the production, the vocals… I can remember back in the day (uugghhh) there wasn't one person I knew, toughguy-youth crew-punk-rock, that didn't instantly fall in love with this at first listen.

    "Best record ever?" You won't find an arguement here…


  7. Andrew DiFiore says:

    Well thank you for writing up a piece on my all time favorite band. This record, along with all of the others Farside put out is indescribably amazing. The definition of the perfect LP, from start to finish. It's everything that is right in punk/hardcore. Farside still gets a lot of love, mostly from the 22+ crowd (I'm 25). And its funny, those who love this band as much as I do seem to have impeccable taste in other music. I got to see them once, in 1999 with Saves the Day and Fastbreak, right after The Monroe Doctrine came out. I remember calling my local indie record store every morning to see if Monroe came in because I ordered it and was anxiously awaiting it. This is the only band whose vinyl I collect. Hell, even my sister likes Farside.
    As far as I know, Kevin Murphy still lives in CA and works for Capital One (maybe). He has been active in raising money for the San Francisco Aids Foundation through mountain biking to raise money and awareness about AIDS. Popeye is playing guitar for the Aquabats and was on Hollywood Squares with his wife some years back. I don't know about Bryan Chu and Bob Beshear. Sean 'Rosie' who played bass on their last tour is still in SoCali and played in Adamantium, amongst others.
    Awesome post, keep up the awesome work.

  8. zach says:

    A+, definite purchase.

  9. uh says:

    makes me sad that more people don't realize how awesome this stuff is. oh well.

    good post.

  10. uhoh says:

    aquabats are a funny band btw. worth cheking out.

  11. Great music choice as always Andrew!

    Didn't knew this band but it reminded me of my 95 fave albuns from the Century Media band ONLY LIVING WITNESS – Innocents CD (http://www.snakenet.com/bible/albums.php?id=3741). In fact the simmilarity of sound/music on these 2 bands is amazing. Anyone knows this? If not:

    ONLY LIVING WITNESS – Innocents Review this Andrew :P

  12. Zach says:

    I personally like MILLIGRAM way more than ONLY LIVING WITNESS. OLW has an amazing 4th or 5th track(too lazy to find my copy right now) acoustic like song though.

  13. malfeitor says:

    As I'm reliving some of the old music I like for my own blog (@1978-1986) I often forget about some of this great late eighties stuff. I loved 411, Headfirst, and I definitely agree with your assessment of this record. Hit music is always about 10 years behind the times, just ask The Descendents or NOFX. They should have been the gigantic bands (although they're not doing that bad), not the hundreds of acts that sound just like them. As far as Zack De La Rocha goes I remember seeing Rage Against The Machine OPEN for House Of Pain (!). They were great but the only people watching them were about 30 Hardcore kids who kept yelling for Inside Out songs. He actually said he wouldn't mind playing some of them, but of course the band didn't know them. That would've rocked. I keep forgetting to link up your site but since mine's down right now I'll finally be able to do it.

  14. rävjunk says:

    Hmpf. Well, that was…kinda good. Nothing amazing though. Best record ever? Wouldn't think so.

  15. K Murphy says:

    Hey – thanks for the nice words about Farside. I played guitar and sang second vocals for the band from 1992 until the end. It makes me very happy to know that people still ilke the stuff we did. Thank you.

    A correction or two and a where-are-they-now: Zack was not the original guitarist. Rob Haworth was, Zacked joined later as a second ("lead") guitarist and only played on Farside's second demo. Zack then quit to focus on RATM full time. Rob quit not long after which is where I came in. Rob went on to form State of the Nation who released two good LPs on Jade Tree. Farside's original bassist was Josh Stanton who quit to play bass in 411 with me, Mario Rubalcaba (who most recently played drums for Rocket From the Crypt) and Dan O'Mahony from No For An Answer. Josh was replaced in Farside by Bryan Chu who had never played in a band before, but wound up being a great bassist. Chu eventually left the band in 1998 or 99 and Sean Rosenthal from Adamantium became our bassist.Chu has been married for a while now and has a very cute little child.

    Sean has played in a few bands since Farside broke up – Rebel Fever and Open Hand are a couple. Popeye was playing with the Aquabats briefly, completing a couple of tours, but that has ended. He is married and lives in So Cal still where he is pursuing work in the movie and TV industry. He and Sean are working on some new music however so that's good. Bob still lives in So Cal as well, has been married for a number of years and is no longer involved in music. But he still hates being called Bob Violence. Lastly, after Farside, I briefly did a hardcore band called Adult Crash with some San Diego guys who were in Amenity and Impel. We played about 5 shows and then broke up. This was fitting since we sounded like DC Hardcore circa 1982 so we should have broken up after 2 shows actually. Since then (2001) my only invovlment in music has been in buying it. I will be moving to Seattle in the next month.

    Again, thanks for the kind words. Glad to know that some people still remember us as more than just a footnote to the 90's.

  16. Anonymous says:

    I just pulled this album out to listen to it again last month and had forgotten how good it is.

    On the other hand, I rarely go more than two weeks or so without listening to "The Monroe Doctrine." If "Rigged" is great, "The Monroe Doctrine" is greatest.

  17. Anonymous says:

    You've sold me. Those tracks are great. I'm definitely gonna pick this up.

  18. JohnGscott says:

    Farside was a great band that I had the pleasure of seeing from start to finish. What a fun trip. Kevin, Cubby, Popeye, Chu, Bob, etc were all great friends and good people. I started Headfirst with Kevin, Mike, and Aaron and was witness to Kevin's unbelievable talent on almost any musical instrument. It's disgusting that someone can play music that well. How he is not a rockstar is beyong me. It probably has to do with his undying love for death metal and the fact that he once owned a bright red 70's era trans-am with a giant golden eagle on the hood. I loved farside and all the people who played in the band. We had about the strongest scene I could've ever imagined and I miss it intensely. The beatiful thing about this band and our scene is that even though many of us haven't seen each other in years and are now old, has been hardcore kids…our hearts remain in this music and scene forever. I listen to old hardcore religiously and it remains my favorite music…even after all these years. I feel like I could call or run into any of these guys after years of being apart and go share a pizza with them. Farside rocks. I still listen to them all the time and am waiting for a Headfirst/Farside reunion tour! Kevin=HVY MTL.

  19. lionfood says:

    What's Dan O'Mahony doing nowadays anyways?

  20. Michael says:

    can anyone tell me if Josh Stanton, Farside's original bassist, also played in VOICEBOX, together with Dan O'Mahony ???
    thank you.

  21. Reid says:

    Voicebox was only Dan O'Mahoney and Chuck Treece from Underdog.

  22. JJ says:

    I'm just posting this with the hope that maybe, after two and a half years, Kevin or somebody else related to Farside might stumble upon this blog again as I have.

    Farside is by far the best band that nobody has heard of. Since I first purchased "Rigged" as a 16 year old punk kid in South Jersey, I haven't stopped loving this band. I'm 30 years old now and all of their records are still in heavy rotation. There are only one or two other bands that have the same effect on me, and all of them made a lot more money than Farside ever did. They were all great records, and even with today's standards and trends, they would still be great records. I never get tired of them and always rock out when I'm listening.

    Here's to hoping that one day the real-life schedules of these punk rock/hardcore legends can let up a little bit so they can make a few new songs together. More than any other band, I would love to hear some new Farside music.

  23. Jim says:

    Just now hearing a lot of good things about Farside. Sounds familiar but I guess I was too young to get into them when they were around. But I wanted to purchase the album that Zach was on and listen for my self before I started buying every album or something. Can someone please tell me what album Zach plays on? Along with JJ's post above I also am hoping Kevin or someone else with some ligit info. can help me out.

  24. Jake Jakeobs says:

    An interview I did recently with Kevin Murphy – http://xstuckinthepastx.blogspot.com/2009/05/kevin-murphy-interview-ex-411-farside.html

    Popeye's brand new band Your Favorite Trainwreck – http://www.myspace.com/yourfavoritetrainwreck

  25. Jake says:

    Introducing: Both Hands Broken (Dan O'Mahony's post-411 and pre-Speak band) – http://xstuckinthepastx.blogspot.com/2010/01/both-hands-broken.html

  26. Jason Kahl says:

    I totally agree! They are the best. Rigged is the best. The first thing I ever heard was "I hope you're unhappy" on some east coast v. west coast hardcore comp and it's the best song on there! And it's not hardcore. For anyone who wishes there were more Husker Du albums, their albums are like long lost SST gems. BTW, fuck Zach de la Rocha.

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