Fire on Fire arises from the ashes of Cerberus Shoal, and is presented for your consideration by the people who rescued Lisa Germano from unfair obscurity...and who also brought you that long-haired Daveendra dude. (Whatever happened to him? I sorta kinda liked his music.) All hipsterism aside, though, this record is...and I hate to be so succinct...brilliant. Confession time, though: I don't know much about the musicians behind Fire on Fire, and I don't pretend to; attempts to find much information about them, it's not so easy. So bear with me.
This five-piece band should sound good; the members have collaborated a lot over the past decade, releasing some of the most challenging, interesting, and frustrating music "indie rock" ever heard. That they've decided to eschew their noise and experimental side for a sound so diametrically opposite of the progressive sounds of their roots is no matter, nor is it particularly surprising. Hell, the way they tarry over musical styles, they were bound to get there anyway. And, really, the five songs found on this limited-edition EP are not necessarily different from their roots, either.
Starting things off is the beautiful and oddly uplifting, positive message of "Hangman." It's an odd connotation for a song that's ultimately a lesson on friendship; yes, dear friends, even the purveyors of death have loved ones. "Liberty Unknown" is a narrative tale about soldiers and freedom fighters, lovingly and beautifully sung by Colleen Kinsella. With gorgeous wind instruments and a gently plucked banjo, the song evokes the Civil War. Which Civil War? Take yer pick. "Liberty Unknown" is the sort of song Colin Meloy hasn't written in a long, long time.
"My Lady Coffin" continues the catchy down-home picking, though it's a dour lyric, reminding me of The Handsome Family. And the singer--forgive me, I know not your name--reminds me of a cross between Neil Young and Jim Henson's country trio. It took me a little bit to get used to it. Oh, and when all five band members start singing, it sure does sound real nice. "Amnesia" takes you on a squeezebox journey through both the old west and rustic Europe. Then the final song, "Three or More," has such a lackadaisical style, I keep thinking we should somehow resurrect Lee Marvin from the dead for the sole purpose of recording this song.
I've been nerding here, of course, but this record is really good, in a primal, natural way. That this EP quickly, almost instantly, sold out, well, it says a lot about both the band and the music found within its sonic walls. Got this feeling we're going to hear a lot about this band over the next year...
Listen To: "Hangman"
Fire on Fire's debut EP may or may not be available from Young God Records
Labels: cant wait for 2008, fire on fire, young god records