Wednesday, 20 July 2011

The Fire Theft - The Fire Theft

Reunions seem to be quite a popular thing now. Bands that long ago broke up are re-uniting to play shows, make albums and dig up the past. It’s generally thought of as a crappy thing to do. Cashing in on their former glory and trampling what’s left of their legacy into the dirt. They’re not always a bad thing though. I’ve been to about 5 Dinosaur Jr shows since they got back together and I genuinely like the last two records they’ve put out (though neither hold a candle to “Bug”). My point is, sometimes it works, some bands just make better music together than they ever would apart.

Not all reunions are as blatant as that though. Bands reform under other names and go off in whole new directions. Same members, different music. The Fire Theft is the product of one of those kinds of rejuvenations. The band started off as Sunny Day Real Estate, a pioneering emo/indie act from Seattle. They were one of the few bands from that city in the early 1990’s that weren’t a grunge act, despite being signed to Sub Pop. Frontman Jeremy Enigk’s high pitched and somewhat strained voice was miles away from the guttural growl of the likes of Eddie Vedder. This and the bands emotionally charged lyrics and less riff heavy music separated them, regardless of geography, from a genre that, by the time their first album Diary was released, was in its dying days. After just two albums the band split and bass player Nate Mendel and drummer Will Goldsmith went off to join the Foo Fighters. Sunny Day reformed without Mendel in 1997 and released another two albums before separating again after their label Time Bomb Recordings fell apart.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Eyes Adrift - Eyes Adrift

The word supergroup, to me at least, has always had negative connotations. I always thought they were made up of musicians whose ego's have outgrown their current bands and have decided to go and make records with people more worthy of them. Plus the music is rarely as good as anything any of the musicians have done before. I once heard someone comparing it to food. Taking various aspects of your favourite foods and combining them isn't necessarily going to make something amazing. Music is not just about good musicianship, which is something that supergroups tend to overlook.
After turning my nose up at all of this, it may seem contrary of me to then extol the virtues of a band who are essentially a 90's alt rock supergroup. You would be right. But I'm going to do it anyway.