Fire In The Attic

Fire In The Attic

Written by: BL on 17/05/2009 14:04:30

Looking at the name Fire In The Attic and the cover of their new self-titled album I was under the impression that I was going to hear claustrophobic horror chord-accented screamo. But so much for having expectations. Instead these guys play a sort of alt-rock mixed with emo and hardcore punk to form an energetic kick start to a Sunday morning.

Englishman and the new member of the band, Thomas Prescott's vocals have a melodic yet strained sound which goes well with the hardcore punk style instrumentation on this 13 track display. His screaming is cagey, at times sharp and strong, while at other times not unlike a hardcore shout. They aren't his preferred form of delivery though and are only used (to good effect) to overlay the clean vocals. A lot of the choruses are quite catchy and the lyrics are straightforward and fairly easy to remember, about how the band view themselves, people around them and the world they live in (check out the rather to-the-point stab at the scene in "Call It Quits").

For the most part I wasn't particularly taken away by any of the instruments, not to say that they weren't good - competent but nothing special. Tasteful and riffy guitar licks were generally limited to just the odd few per song, sometimes just one (the intro to "Call It Quits" is cool), and the remainder is chords pretty much the whole way through with the occasional lead on top. There is a raw feel to them though with the light production and this gives the songs that slightly edgy, wild feel best heard on tracks like "Running With Scissors" and "Heartbeats For Paychecks". The songs tend to divide themselves to feel either like softer hardcore punk with a subtle rock'n'roll flair, or to flirt with pop punk and post hardcore. Either way I liked it when things were faster and there was more punch in their delivery. However because they always maintain a bar of melody throughout (which is nice), this at times might seem like a constraint, so don't expect to hear anything like breakdowns or chaotic moments where they sound like they might lose it (which would have been cool at a few places).

Its a decent album on the whole, there are some spots where the songs are catchy enough to be memorable in between filler moments. I would have liked a bit more variation in their sound, perhaps taking more chances by really using that raw production to kick you harder against the wall (I mean, with some of the lyrics I was surprised that didn't happen). As such things only remained interesting for a short while, I can't say I was moved all too much.

Download: Heartbeats For Paychecks, Clockworks, Call It Quits
For the fans of: early Thrice, UnderOATH, Eighteen Visions
Listen: Myspace

Release date 13.03.2009
Redfield Records

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