The Scott Farkus Affair is the result of a sonic head-on collision between a concorde and a french hotel that took on a life of its own in the summer of 1997. The group morphed out of two former bands of the mid 90’s Baltimore scene. Mike Sheppard, Mike Hilton and Zakk Becker are formerly of the band Butch. Over 5 years, Butch released one cd and several 7″s, made two east coast tours and played with many national acts, including Hammerhead, Mule, Gnomes of Zurich, Chixdiggit, Bracket, Doc Hopper, and Stinking Lizaveta. Joe Haberstitch and Jay Novak performed with 7 Mississippi, another Baltimore favorite which also spent time touring the regional scene. Instant chemistry spawned the Scott Farkus Affair’s debut cd, “Sorrows Learn to Swim.” Recorded a mere 4 months after the band secured the line up, this raw, powerful work was recorded and mixed by Drew Mazurek (Jawbox, Kepone, Texas is the Reason) and mastered by Tom Baker (Beastie Boys, NIN). Less than a year later, SFA released a split cd/ep with another Baltimore favorite band, Moviegoer. The Scott Farkus Affair has been amassing a solid fan base stretching from North Carolina to Boston and have risen to the top of the Baltimore scene. They have shared the stage with many notable national acts, including Burning Airlines, The Up On In, Supernova, Fuck, St. James Infirmary, Supersuckers and Trans Am. Time and experience led SFA back into the studio this year to record their new release, “We will become destination.” This release captures a more mature, song-focused and provocative Scott Farkus Affair, which continues to be infused with the energy and raw intensity of their earlier releases and ever-present in their widely attended live performances. The Scott Farkus Affair are planning several regional tours this coming year to support the new release, which is available on Ambiguous City Records, Baltimore MD.
When talking about Baltimore’s Scott Farkus Affair, it makes more sense to talk in terms of a force of nature rather than just an ordinary band. Think of the guitars and bass as driving sheets of rain, Jay Novak’s nimble drumming as the thunder, and Mike Sheppard’s vocals as the lightning. That leads to an obvious pun, but if any band has earned the accolade “electrifying,” it’s the Farkus. This sophomore effort serves up a tad more melody than the band’s stark, more hardcore/metal debut, but the essential elements remain: Ignoring traditional notions of verse, chorus, and even melody, the Scott Farkus Affair creates roiling waves of sound punctuated by Sheppard’s barking exclamations. It doesn’t really matter what he’s singing about – Sheppard’s diction and unique phrasing render the lyrics all but unintelligible anyway. (Although it’s worth pointing out that the leadoff track, “Save The Patriots,” may just be SFA’s most literal lyric to date, an Everyman rant against the forces of corporate and societal conformity.) But whatever the words, when Sheppard shouts, you know he means it, and you’ll find yourself pumping your fist in the air and screaming your lungs out along to every teeming, tumultuous track on this magnificent release. Unleashing fury and passion without a hint of testosterone or ego, succeeds at every level. Boys, if you’re looking for a role model, look no further. Here are the real men of rock and roll. Every punk-rock kid should aspire to grow up and be half as awesome as the Scott Farkus Affair.
– Jim Testa, Jersey Beat, New Jersey
Fucking mind-blowing. What we have here is one of the best discs to grace my CD player in a good long time. Warm, soaring guitars and gentle beginnings explode into a rage of screamed vocals and churning melodies. A great sense of dynamics mean that the songs surge back and forth in the soft/loud way that so many bands attempt but so few master. The singer has a great screaming voice but also sings the quieter sections beautifully. This would fit really well on Dischord as it is intelligent, thoughtful punk – you won’t find the same three chords used over and over again here. If you appreciate emotional, subtle, yet powerful punk rock, you have to snap this one up. Truly stunning.
– World Wide Punk.com
“Fuck Yeah! Now this is what I’m talking about when I use the “emo catch-phrase” in an affirmative manner. Noisy, intricate stuff with impassioned singing and solidly, heartfelt, honest lyrics. the sound is sort of a blend of “Bivouac”-era Jawbreaker and “In on the Killtaker”-vintage Fugazi, but these guys definitely have their own think going on. A great record tp out on after a really harsh, bitter breakup.” *also on Dave Johnson’s Top Ten List.
– Hit List, Berkeley, CA
The Scott Farkus Affair has an energy, a feeling, that gets inside you and just as you get used to it, it explodes. With catchy lyrics that aren’t too pop-happy, these guys manage to put the harmony back into hard Indie rock. They give me the feel of bands like Fugazi and Jaw Breaker, but without sounding like them. Scott Farkus is a music genre to intself. I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed listening to them.
– Flipswitch.com, NC
“Discrete cells of melody…dealing with matters of affection and disaffection. Dynamics that lull almost as often as they pound. New ways to make old gestures mean more.”
– City Paper, Baltimore, MD
“Recently risen from the ashes of powerful postpunk fivesome Butch (with a special graft from 7 Mississippi). SFA has tempered its raw rock impact with melody, meloncholy, and mood-but especially melody. If you’re in the habit of watching for bands, this is a band to watch for.”
– Decibel, Baltimore, MD
“A new treat for our ears…off-beats where you least expect it, intricate guitars that answer each other with every note. If you like early Dischord stuff like Nation of Ulysses, Lungfish and Fugazi, you’ll really dig this.”
– Hyphenated American, Gatesville, TX
“They perveyed a searing, raw, and hard hitting style of post punk mayhem that put a jolt into the crowd and into the air. They meld their abrasive, punkish roots with plenty of melody and songcraft and above all, energy. Another winner.”
– fAZE 3, Ayden, NC
“…they rock in the most meaty post-punk ways…The SFA grab you by your throat, scream in your face, pound at your chest, and poke your stomach with their clean production, pile-driving chord changes, super power drumming, and real attitude…in many places this attack is downright awesome.”
– The Big Takeover, New York, NY
“…when I put this on I learned that Scott Farkus rocks…this band is probably great live, keep yer eyes peeled”
– Tail Spins, Evanston, IL
“The mighty Scott Farkus Affair rips it up…gut-wrenching intensity, psychotic vocals, razor sharp guitars with some killer melodic hooks…an emotional armageddon that few bands can match”
– Jersey Beat, NJ, New Jersey
“…a lesson in dissonant postpunk. SFA prove that you can provide melody without compromising the honesty of music…over all meshing of songwriting really shines through. Pure evolution at its best. This is absolutely my pick of the issue.”
– Pasadena Rock City, Pasadena, MD
“…ragged vocals and moody minor chords, evoking all sorts of images. The final track is one of the coolest ways I havve heard a band end an album since Eno.”
– Flowonline, Holly Day, Minneapolis, MN
“…urgent vocals, schizophrenic loud/soft stance. Resounding guitars are the primary weapon of choice throughout, but their strength lies in their songwriting prowess. An album chock full of strong material. An impressive musical entry into the Mid-Atlantics regional scene”
– Music Monthly, Baltimore, MD