Setting The Woods On Fire

Setting The Woods On Fire EP

Written by: TL on 14/08/2009 13:33:42

Oh how delightful it is to be presented with a band who puts the word 'emo' in their genre description on myspace, and actually proceed to prove that they know what they're talking about. One such band is Setting The Woods On Fire, a trio from Poland who recently released their debut self titled EP.

On their myspace, this band lists more respectable nineties bands than you could probably think of if asked, and let it be said, if you listen to this record of theirs, then you're in for some hero worship of proportions. All the noise, post-punk, post-hardcore, emo and indie bands, that laid down the base for the scene as we know it today, seem to have inspired STWOF beyond imagination. Most audible to this scribe however, are the references to Sunny Day Real Estate, Texas Is The Reason and to some extent also even Daitro.

So you pretty much know what to expect, and what you get is faithful to those expectations. Buzzy guitar and bass make up the center of a deliberate garage-y production, and the scratchy dual vocals have even been tugged halfway under the instruments, just as it was with Sunny and Texas. The songs usually start out with mellow indie strumming, then proceeding to up the volume until things explode into noisy choruses and climaxes. Again, this kind of quiet/loud dynamic is textbook emo, and STWOF deliver it to the letter, with vocals in the quiet parts almost muttered, and in the chorus wailed or screamed (those screams are where the Daitro reference comes in). To their credit the also even mix up their songwriting, in some songs, like the opener "It Ends Today", relying on classic verse/chorus/verse/chorus structure, and in others, like "Now Or Never", letting the song landslide from threatening bass strumming into full fledged distorted noise fest.

As you might imagine, this is right up my alley, but while admittedly I do like it a lot, I do want to introduce a dilemma that the band might want to deal with in the future. As it is now, their stuff is already incredibly enjoyable, for exactly the same reason that of their inspirations were, only now with added feeling of nostalgia. It is however, hardly a life-changing experience to listen to them, simply because you've heard it before, and you hardly get a feeling of what it is STWOF bring to the table themselves. You put on the record and you get drawn into the melancholic atmospheres and the vocal harmonies, and when it explodes in your ears it's like an autumn storm trying to shake your body and exhilarate your senses, but when it's over it's over, and you hardly remember any particular lines or track names.

So this is where that dilemma comes in. On one hand, these guys can keep doing what they do, possibly building an underground fan base off the novelty and nostalgia that their current stuff does have. On the other, they can also set off on the dangerous road that is trying to fuse a distinct modern identity into their sound, without losing too much of the quality they get from being 'oldschool'. For instance, I personally get a very faint feeling of similarity between this and some of the earliest My Chemical Romance and AFI (circa "I Brought You My Bullets..." and "Art Of Drowning" maybe?), and this I think hints that STWOF might be able to craft as distinctive sounds as those two bands, hopefully though without having to change into as commercial a sound. Whether they do one thing or the other however, one thing is set in stone. Setting The Woods On Fire are a very promising band, very early in their career, and while they're not a great band yet, listening to this debut gives you that warm fuzzy feeling that they're holding the blueprints for something awesome. So bring it on boys!


Download: Lost Is All We Are, It Ends Today, Just Forget
For The Fans Of: 90's emo/screamo, Sunny Day Real Estate, Texas Is The Reason, etc. etc.

Release Date 13.06.2009
Promise! Promise!

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