The Fire Show
A very weird, very captivating album from Chicago’s Perishable “collective,” this time led by people named Nil, Resplendent, and Klos. Well, why not? Imagine avant-gardist labelmates Friend/Enemy meeting Tom Waits and discussing everything from underground rap to Talking Heads, and you’re just about there. Although not quite, because this twists and turns with a fury, refusing to be tied down in any one genre at any one time. And so, the moment you think you’ve got it all figured out, The Fire Show suddenly comes out sounding like Massive Attack, and you have to start from scratch again. A bit annoying and a bit fascinating, then, and a lot can be said for that.
However, there’s something missing here, whatever that something is. It may be that the songs are so intent on avoiding any straight line that they constantly undermine any sense of wholeness or reason. Ironically, the refusal to walk in anyone’s footsteps takes the edge out of many of the songs, and gives them the air of mere sketches and half-finished works, bristling with ideas but lacking in coherency and thought.
There are, however, some fine moments on here — the clanking “The Rabbit of My Soul…” say, and the darkly pulsating “The Godforsaken Angels of Epistemology.” The Fire Show is undoubtedly a band with a lot to say and the talent to say it as well. If they only manage to define and shape their songs in somewhat more precise fashion, the next one could be a really great one.
Perishable Records: http://www.perishablerecords.com