Greek Fire

Lost EP

Written by: TL on 29/12/2014 17:33:17

Named after the flammable floating substance the Byzantine empire used to win naval battles in ancient times, St. Louis quartet Greek Fire are on a self-professed mission "to capture the attention of a rock deprived generation [... and] create uplifting, soaring music for those who need it now more than ever." Forming in 2008, the band has gathered experience and attention on tour in support of Eve 6, and their second album has been in the works since 2012, yet its proposed "Lost/Found" concept eventually got split up into two EP's, the first of which finally arrived this year.

The EP opens boldly with a synthesized horn sound reminiscent of the one in Kanye West's aggressive "Black Skinhead", kicking straight into an up-beat, hard-going modern rock song. It does indeed sound like an attempt to bring the radio-rock of recent decades into the present, and sans a cheap "hey! hey! hey!" refrain, the criticism of our irresponsible online ways is as relateable as the lyric about "the devil and the digital sea" is catchy. It's contrasted however, by the similar yet weaker "Top Of The World" - one of the singles from the Big Hero 6 soundtrack - which echoes with hollow Thirty Seconds To Mars imitation and excessive refrain repetition. Combined with the cover of David Bowie's "I'm Afraid Of Americans", these latter two tracks weigh down the release, for while the latter is recognisable enough, it has sort of a ham-fisted post-grunge vibe that doesn't exactly inspire you to re-listen despite the track's obvious catchiness.

"Coming Alive" is better then, sounding so much like Anberlin that you'd almost forget that the Florida veterans recently disbanded - And this is ironic, because Anberlin singer Stephen Christian is credited as guest vocalist, not on this track but on "I'm Afraid Of Americans" - A mistake in the tagging perhaps? The primary reasons for making note of the EP though, are "A Real Life" and the remaining closing track "Fever", the latter of which implements more of a classic rock swagger, with guitar histrionics that sound like a mixture of Jane's Addiction and Aerosmith dragged into the modern nuances of John Feldmann's experienced production job.

As a whole "Lost" sounds tightly written and crisp production-wise considering that Greek Fire has few accomplishments prior to this point, and you sense the hints of breakthrough potential in the songs, yet also the ties back to the commercial rock of yesterday's trends. It's a cause for some concern that the band could be lured towards sticking to the safety of the remains of that market, which would likely lead to more plainly uncool material in the veins of "Top Of The World", but at the same time a track like "Fever" does show a deft enough touch to hope that the band can in fact bridge conventional rock tricks with some cutting edge thinking. It seems too early then, to decide which way this group tilts, but there's enough reason to at least keep an eye out for the "Found" EP which figures to provide a second sample size.


Download: A Real Life, Fever
For The Fans Of: Anberlin, Thirty Seconds To Mars, Sent By Ravens, Madina Lake

Release date 13.05.2014
PledgeMusic / Downtown / V2

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