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The Fire Theft - The Fire Theft CD (album) cover


The Fire Theft


Prog Related

3.96 | 9 ratings

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4 stars Three musicians from the band Sunny Day Real Estate became known as The Fire Theft after the break up of the first band. For the most part, they rid themselves of the emo sound they had and created a new band in the style of indie/alternative bands. The music is not standard though, it doesn't really follow the traditional patterns of popular rock. The vocals are well done and don't feel self-pitying. The instrumental back ups and breaks are very well and tastefully done, with the band occasionally exploring new and interesting sounds.

Now, this is not a full fledged progressive band, nor do they claim to be. But they take on some progressive, or at least some original sounds, phrasing and very cool harmonics. There are some nice surprises throughout their only full album that give each and every song on here a personality of it's own. I am always afraid of indie or alternative bands that have a few good songs and then pattern all of their other songs after the same mold and the songs end up becoming non-interesting because nothing stands out. Not so with this album. It's hard to find anything that is not interesting here. The music flows forward and doesn't become stagnant. The addition of hooks that come at you from way out in left field at times keep the music fresh and interesting. The interesting harmonics that show up on occasion also make things original.

There are times when I hear a tendency to lean toward a slight post-rock sound, but not quite. In fact, there are passages, especially in the atmospheric chorus to the louder verses of "Chains" that reminds me of the more atmospheric songs of Oceansize, but without quite reaching the full development of that band. But the attempt is legitimate and impressive enough to not have to worry about the songs being weak copies of a better band. Then the longer track "Sinatra" is a decent attempt at something a little more challenging and really approaches progressive music with nice original song structure and dynamics. This is very enjoyable music.

Most of the songs feature great vocals, but there are a few instrumentals here including the short, but interesting "Waste Time Segue", the backward sounding guitar on the otherwise forward sounding song "Backward Blues", and the changing rhythms and moods of the mostly instrumental song "Rubber Bands" are not filler, but have purpose and life of their own. They feel like they belong on the album with the rest of the songs.

I am surprised that the band didn't manage to put out anymore material. I know there was another album planned and also a video album, but neither of these happened for whatever reason. I can't help but think they may have tried a little more experimentation, but I suppose we'll never know.

Anyway, if you are feeling like something a little more mainstream, but not traditional with hints of prog and a lot of originality, this would be the album you are looking for. It's not mindless cookie- cutter material and has just enough individualistic tendency to be considered an excellent addition to your collection. If you can find it, which I still see copies of it around, then by all means, give it a try. I think you will be as surprised as I was.

TCat | 4/5 |


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