There’s a new found clarity found on Farnham, an album that eschews the thick fog of reverb that surrounded the band’s debut. Recorded together by the band and Adam Reich (Titus Andronicus, So So Glos, Bueno), the band sound better than ever with slick studio work that adds layers to the band’s often laid back yet always blistering guitars. Baked recreate classic rock in their own image, thick and devastating with a casual slow burning ease. Imagine the perfect marriage of Neil Young and Kevin Shields or The Rolling Stones and J Mascis and you begin to get the picture.
Farnham is a record that is very much indebted to changes. Changes that come from loss and those that come from living life. It’s an album dedicated to a lost friend (Ken Farnham, the record’s namesake) but it’s also an album of a band that has experienced it’s own changes in members since their debut. It’s also the first album they’ve released since Baked’s lead songwriter RJ Gordon joined Titus Andronicus… which is to say, change weighs heavy. Baked remain forever true to their own vision but they’re adapting and evolving as a collective, opting to recline a little deeper, push a little further, and create the best version of themselves they can muster up. Sure the band still like to get… well, baked… but their sophomore album is mature and fully realized, a reflective record that comes from the band’s heart. Speaking about the record’s title and themes in a recent interview, RJ Gordon (vocals/guitar) shared:
"‘Farnham’ is the last name of a friend of mine (Ken) who passed away some years back. We were close friends and roommates back when we were freshman and sophomores in college at SUNY Purchase. Back in 2008/2009 he was diagnosed with brain cancer at a young age. We would go to visit him in his hometown (Tonawanda, NY) and try to keep up as much as possible. He was a talented artist and made a print 8 or 9 years ago that became the two dead mice on the cover of the album. Also the droopy monster face on the liner notes. He was a very very talented artist and I wanted to pay homage to his work and his name with the record. A lot of the record has songs that I wrote originally during and after that tough time and it felt right to pay a little tribute to him.”