Review: Forgive Durden – Razia’s Shadow: A Musical

Forgive Durden - Razia's Shadow: A Musical

It was only a matter of time before a band from the “scene” would have the ambition to write and record a musical. Quite frankly, I would have expected it to be done by a band like Say Anything or Angels & Airwaves (although that would have been horrible). Instead, it is the brainchild of Thomas Dutton, the sole remaining member of Forgive Durden, a band often overlooked on the Fueled By Ramen roster.

Dutton co-wrote Razia’s Shadow with his brother, Paul. He also organized and played most of the instrumentation on the album, with former Gatsby’s American Dream drummer Rudy Gajadhar hitting the skins. To bring Razia to life though, Dutton summoned the help of many top vocalists in the scene, including Max Bemis (Say Anything), Greta Salpeter (The Hush Sound), Aaron Weiss (mewithoutYou), and Chris Conley (Saves The Day). Each guest contributed a voice to a character in the musical. 

Produced by Casey Bates, Razia’s Shadow is a thirteen track journey that tells “the story of a world divided in two by the selfish actions of a powerful and egotistical, yet insecure angel. After generations of darkness, the world is eventually brought back together by the love and sacrifice of a couple brave enough to fulfill their destinies.” Bates’ production is pristine, and along with Weiss’ narration, helps the story move crisply and cleanly. The story is winding and intimate, ripe with themes of hope, corruption, deceit, and love. I won’t be getting into the depth of Razia’s storyline because that is up to you, the listener, to interpret. Rather, I’ll discuss whether or not Dutton successfully brought his image to life.

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Review: Forgive Durden – Wonderland

Forgive Durden - Wonderland

Welcome to Wonderland. A world meticulously crafted by the minds of Forgive Durden, lies, deceit, greed, and lust lay within. The picture of Wonderland is painted with vivid lyrical imagery provided by Forgive Durden in their debut full-length. In one of the most diverse records to come out in recent memory, Forgive Durden brings their own musical style to several different musical genres, including takes on country, tango, and pop. But intertwined into all these styles is a distinctive sound that the band has made for themselves. Showing influences from Gatsby’s American Dream, Wonderland is full of accented off-beats and chromatic progressions, adding another band from Seattle who follows in Gatsby’s tech-rock footsteps. But the comparisons should end there. While listeners may hear similarities in certain chords or guitar stylings, virtually every song on Wonderland contains a chorus and Forgive Durden takes their musical exploration far beyond the expected scope. 

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Review: Forgive Durden – When You’re Alone, You’re Not Alone

Forgive Durden - When You're Alone, You're Not Alone

Yet another great Seattle band has emerged, and their name is Forgive Durden. This super catchy pop-rock band has released an excellent debut album. When You’re Alone, You’re Not Alone is full of soaring choruses, tempo changes, varied instrumentation, and great production by who else – Casey Bates. Upon first listen of this EP, one will immediately hear the similarities to bands on Rocketstar Recordings – specifically This Providence and Gatsby’s American Dream. Full of technical breakdowns and amazing vocals by lead singer Tom Dutton, currently unsigned Forgive Durden is about to make a name for themselves. 

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