More Furors "SONG OF THE WEEK" The Furors Tribute - Let's Get Furious
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The Known World
© 1994 Holcomb & Dans

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The Known World

Total Time: 39:32
Cost: $7.98 +s/h*

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Read Our Review

Check out The Furors Newest CD release:
also their CD: ECCE FURORS and the double CD Tribute to The Furors,
Let's Get Furious" it contains 38 local New Haven, CT scene artists covering their favorite Furors tunes (12 of which were taken from
The Known World

STYLE: Whimsical, Witty, Multi-Genre Rock.

HOME TOWN: New Haven, CT.

1. If It Isn't One Thing
2. Strangers in Fiction
3. Don't Want to Hate You
4. Obsession
5. How Pretty You Were When I Cared
6. The Ghost of My Love
7. My Mind Wanders
8. We 51 Say You 49
9. Your Turn
10. I Kissed Your Wife
11. Something on You
12. XOX
13. Help Me
14. How I'll Die
15. Daytime Nighttime
16. On the Industrial Park

Supplememtal Issue               Sept./Oct. '03

This had been one of the hardest reviews to write, until I realized this was because I had already written it (or part of it) before I had even heard The Known World by The Furors. Yet, I did know the CD. Let me explain (or should I say let my previous review enlighten you?). What now follows is an excerpt taken from the IndepenDisc ‘Zine - Issue #51 – July ’03 “Lets Get Furious” – A Tribute to The Furors (You can read the whole review HERE and I suggest you do).

[Begin excerpt]…
The Furors.
A pair of musicians; Derek Holcolmb and Tom Dans first teamed up almost 30 years ago to write and record songs, they’ve been playing the New Haven scene for the past 25 years and while they’ve self manufactured many vinyl and CD releases over that time (reviewer's note: The Known World being but one of them), we can’t say that they ever became a household name.”

(reviewer’s note: In describing a rare acoustic coffee house performance)
The Furors normally play plugged in with Tom on drums, backing vocals and handling any percussion chores that might pop up, while Derek plays guitar and sings, both in a manner that fit the quirky, intelligent pop ditties that make you wonder why the band They Might Be Giants could make a living on songs like these, while The Furors have gone relatively unnoticed during the same time. In this acoustic setting (and my first time seeing/hearing them) I was amazed. Derek played the guitar like a refined lunatic, holding it high on his chest for close intimate sounds, yet thrashing spastically when the punch and oommfff of the song called for it. Singing in altos and falsettos, he would bend and contort his facial muscles to help his voice find the idiosyncratic inflections needed to fit each of the compositions. In contrast, Tom sat behind his drum kit deceivingly stolid-like as he played not only the drums, but such percussion goodies like a toy piano, 5 different pitched bells (I’m sure there’s a technical name for them which I am uneducated on), a penny whistle, New Years Eve noise makers, a miniature gong, castanets, and a host of others with such precision and passion that the music created by the two of them jumped alive and swirled in my head. What seemed like two extremes were actually a team of unparalleled synch (reviewer’s note: I forgot to mention the harmonies – amazing harmonious interpretations!); mirroring each other with opposite styles to create a seamless tapestry of musical sound, all stitched together with lyrics of thesis quality depth (reviewer’s note: recanting twisted vignettes of life’s relationships) transposed into 3-minute songs. Needless to say I was hooked.”
…[End excerpt]

And that description nails the CD “The Known World” to a Tee.

My relationship with The Furors began late in their career at the show described above, which was in the spring of 2001. Since then I’ve seen them play numerous acoustic & electric shows at which I developed a fondness and familiarity with their repertoire. Then came the ultimate: ThinManMusic of Meriden, CT gathered 38 local bands (from 25 years past to present) and recorded a double CD Tribute to The Furors called “Let’s Get Furious.” I swallowed it whole and came away awed at the scope and breadth of the Furors music. Holcomb and Dans are a writing team that can hold themselves up with the big boys (and deserve to be working in the bizarro Brill Building), which brings me back to The Known World. 12 of the 16 tracks on this CD were covered on the Let’s Get Furious CD, and if that doesn’t tell you the significance of The Known World, let me expound – When three-fourths of one record is chosen by your peers as the song(s) they admire enough to cover, man, you’re talking like only Sgt.Pepper comes close in that regard, which should tell you something – (it brings even more depth and meaning to the title: The Known World ;-)…

I then found myself re-blown away by the songs I already knew (although through different recorded and live interpretations). Right from the opening bare guitar chords, thundering double drumbeat, woodblock snap, and ting-a-ling of the toy piano in “If It Isn’t One Thing,” the finely hued reggae organ a la` Sandinista era Clash in “Don’t Want To Hate You,” the early skiffle-like Buddy Holly guitar chords and signatures in “How Pretty You Were When I Cared,” the Retro-60’s, Laugh-In Go-Go Party feel to “Something About You,” (Daunt, Da Daunt Da – wait for the punch line), and the bewitching-hour, ghoulish, “walk it down” guitar riffs and bells on “Strangers In Fiction,” (using the opening Rodgers & Hammerstein Broadway style lyrics of: “Don’t talk to strangers/’Cause you might end up talking to me/They don’t come stranger/I’m not dangerous now/But, I might well be” complete with eerie, goosebump inducing backing vocals), I knew that this was no ordinary run of the mill record. The Known World cultivates music into an ever-expanding sound that does not sit still.

The duo of Derek Holcomb (guitar, vocals, organ, violin, steel drum, flutophone, toy piano) and Tom Dans (drums, vocals, flute, flutophone) created an album that defies categorization. Alive with so much action, sound, lyrics, musical mischief, minute intricacy, and instruments from every percussion class ever taught, that the scope and magnitude of this platter is more suited for a box set career retrospective. They are also assisted by guest percussionist Maria Murphy (playing such instruments as tambourine, cabassa, bells, castanets, toy piano, bongos, triangles, whistle, noisemaker, and organ. And, man, are every one of those instruments important and integral to all the compositions found here) as well as John Lindberg whose recording and engineering bring vibrancy and life to the many layers that are the foundations of the sound. You’ll see why this album presents multitudes of problems when attempting to try to explain the style and why it hooked you, only to find yourself smiling as you’re choking on the amount of adjectives and genres you can spit out in enough time to not leave anything out.

And of course I’ve had to leave many more superfluous adjectives out because to continue carrying on would just diminish the impact. Do not let New Haven keep The Furors as their own little secret, The Known World should not be regulated to a select few. Get to know The Known World. We caught the furor, you should too.

C’mon, Let’s Get Furious!

The Known World by Furors
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