FIRE - STARING AT THE X
hate to describe Forest Fire’s sound as ‘laid back’,
because that invariably conjures up images that are not a fair
reflection of the music on this album. But it’s an accurate
phrase if you put aside preconceptions – a relaxed, though
sometimes unsettling vibe permeates the album, even on uptempo
numbers like Future Shadows, which has a bouncing,
almost poppy feel to it, but still seems the sort of thing you
can kick back and unwind to as much as it might suggest making
you dance around the room.
At its best, this is a languid, raw and discordant recording –
They Pray Execution Style is almost too creepy-crawly
as it slips and slides through the back of your mind for six and
a half minutes, while Blank Appeal is both minimalist
and fuzz-laden. But the band are than able to slip into
an acoustic, country-flavoured number like the title track, giving
the LP a dizzying sense of musical variety.
There are low points too: The News sounds too
much like an indie tune, the sort of thing you could almost imagine
The Verve doing if they had any musical imagination or value,
and album closer Visions in Platic is too plodding
to justify its eight and a half minute length. But thankfully,
the good outweighs the bad here.
In the end, this is Art Rock with a very capital ‘A’
– a little too self-consciously cool to fully satisfy, but
with enough interesting – and tuneful – numbers to
make it worth checking out.
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