Nations Afire

The Uprising EP

Written by: TL on 13/11/2009 19:44:03

So dear reader, tell me, would you like for there to be more bands out there that sounds like Rise Against? If yes, then you should definitely be interested in what follows, because this is a review of Nations Afire's debut EP "The Uprising". Nations Afire being a quintet consisting of Steve Ludwig on vox, Chris Chasse (formerly of Rise Against) on guitar/vox, Brett Rasmussen on bass/vox and Nik Hill on guitar vox (both members of Ignite) and lastly Todd Hennig (formerly of Death By Stereo) on drums. Quite impressive credentials you could say, but what are they up to musically?

Well, like I've implied, if "The Uprising EP" is anything to go by, they're up to creating a band that aligns as closely with the aesthetic of Rise Against as humanly/musically possible. There really is no way of putting it more accurately, just click the player below and you'll understand. The five songs on the disc are all relatively straight forward, purposefully incendiary, catchy, chorus-driven cuts, relying on similar dynamics as RA, and spiced up with classic guitar solos that betray inspiration from Bad Religion (who also influenced RA, but then, which punk band didn't they influence?) and the occasional backing scream that brings to mind the sadly defunct BoySetsFire.

That should be all good though right? After all, those are some pretty sweet references we're talking about, so Nations Afire should be a pretty good acquaintance right? Well yes, I guess they would be, if it wasn't for the most important thing of all, namely their songs, none of which come even remotely close to measuring up to any of those from the bands Nations Afire want to compare themselves to. I wonder if it has something to do with singer Ludwig's voice lacking texture especially in his higher parts, but regardless, the thing is that while there's nothing decisively poor about "The Uprising EP", it has got nowhere near enough personality to catapult the band quickly to the ranks of their popular contemporaries.

Not that they're necessarily expecting or wanting that. Even though all the members are seasoned musicians, we must remember that NA are a brand new band, fresh out with their first release, and if you look at it as such, this sounds remarkably well done, and like it has a very strong sense of self, which is more than can be said for many a young band. So it's not like there's any reason to call Rise Aga..., wait a minute, Nations Afire, a failure, because they're not. Rather there's reason to have hope for their future, even if this first attempt of theirs isn't exactly a bombshell. Oh and seriously, just a little more originality wouldn't hurt, even if this is punk rock.

6

Download: Exit Strategy, The Will To Breathe
For The Fans Of: Rise Against, Autopilot Off, BoySetsFire, Bad Religion,
Listen: myspace.com/nationsafire

Release Date 21.04.2009
Hybrid Recordings

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