There are plenty of reasons why bands call it quits. For Farewood, it just seemed like time. Fortunately, the Meriden, Conn., group isn’t going quietly: the foursome last fall put out a swansong, “Under Burning Sun.” It’s a dramatic album, full of songs that sound huge and spacious. Lou Lorenzo has always had a knack for bold guitars, and here they ring out through dreamlike atmospherics, as bassist Leah Booker’s tough and alluring voice reverberates as if she’s singing somewhere dark and open. Lorenzo’s pyrotechnic guitar solo on “One Step Closer” is a particular high point, “Back to the Mountain” practically takes flight as the song builds toward a rapturous finish, and Booker looks into a terse, enthralling rhythm with drummer Kyle McCarthy on “Ash to Soil.”
Local music in Connecticut can be an odd beast: for such a geographically small state, there are a lot of distinct mini-scenes that tend toward insularity: people mostly play close to home, and there’s surprisingly little cross-pollination. As such, Farewood has never gotten as much credit as the band has deserved, probably in part because Meriden is, well, Meriden: known more for the mall than as any kind of a music hub, the annual Daffodil Festival notwithstanding. Yet for nearly 25 years, starting when Lorenzo used to record by himself on a four-track in his bedroom in the ’90s, Farewood has been consistently inventive, always virtuosic and, despite a plethora of good reasons, never quite prolific enough: “Under Burning Sun” is just the band’s sixth album, but it’s a hell of a way to end.