A Fire With Friends
Ghost House Review
Released January 25, 2014
Genre: Indie Rock, Alternative Rock
With a name like A Fire With Friends, one may assume that the Scranton 7-piece sound like a mid-2000’s Hot Topic band. However, that most certainly is not the case, as these Pennsylvanian’s delve into a very straight-forward style of indie rock that has a very heavy piano influence.
Being a 7 piece, these guys like to throw a lot of different sounds into the mix. This whirlwind of music can be either easily digested or thoroughly rejected. Sometimes, the musical porridge is a tasty soup, and other times it’s bland mixture of ingredients. The band peaks when they embark on a great musical idea that transitions between the introduction and conclusion of the track. However, the band falls flat when they loop the same idea for too long, exploring too many ideas that do not mix.
The track “Awful Things” demonstrates the band’s true potential. The infectious guitar opener turns into a steady rock groove with some cool vocal harmonies thrown in. The drum beat changes, allowing pianos to swoop into the soundscape. This changes the direction of the song, but the core idea remains the same. The bridge is a jazzy groove that has every musician hammering out another steady pattern. Other fine moments on the LP include the closer, “One Day I Will Tell You Everything”, which is a pretty acoustic track that does a nice job adding a solid dollop of sour cream to this musical soup.
Things take a turn for the superfluous on the title track. There’s distorted guitar thrown onto a diabolical piano part. The ideas don’t necessarily conflict, but they certainly don’t mesh. The main piano-guitar-drum pattern repeats for about 90 seconds too long, inducing fatigue into the audience. The band falls into this trap of repeating an idea that would be better suited if it was shorter.
Scranton has an ever-growing music scene, and while A Fire With Friends has moments of greatness, the mediocre moments distract from the great potential that this band has.
FAV TRACKS: Awful Things, White Bike, One Day I Will Tell You Everything
LEAST FAV TRACKS: Ghost Town, Jesus and I