Fire On Fire / The Orchard / ReviewAs Â“The OrchardÂ” was released at the tail-end of 2008, amidst the flurry of best-of lists, now is a good time to reconsider this album and perhaps give it the attention it is certainly worthy of.
David Perron (20 May, 2009)
Fire on Fire "The Orchard"
Fire on Fire, the Portland, Maine-based quintet featuring former members of
Cerberus Shoal, breathe new life into traditional song forms on their first
full-length offering “The Orchard”. Here Fire on Fire achieves an
invigorating group sound that mixes boot-stomping bluegrass, fiery (non)
gospel, and mesmerizing folk balladry. While Fire on Fire stray from the
sprawling pan-ethnic jams that Cerberus Shoal honed, they display a subtle
eclecticism through their range of acoustic instrumentation and voices used.
The real draw though is the songs themselves, both soul-stirring and
devastatingly beautiful. The rollicking opener “Sirocco”, with its maniacal
group harmonizing of the line “If we tear this kingdom down, let it be with
a deserving and joyous sound” establishes Fire on Fire’s intent from out of
the gates. The minor-key title track, while somewhat more restrained, swings
with a similar energy propelled on by the low-end clunk of the stand-up
bass. Elsewhere, Fire on Fire explore more moody, heart-wrenching folk songs
particularly on tracks like “Heavy D” and “Flight Song”. But it’s those
doubled-up Colleen Kinsella vocals on songs like “Assanine Race”, “Squeeze
Box”, and “Grin” that provide some of the more jarring, and perhaps most
satisfying, moments on the album.
As “The Orchard” was released at the tail-end of 2008, amidst the flurry of
best-of lists, now is a good time to reconsider this album and perhaps give
it the attention it is certainly worthy of. 9/10 -- David Perron (20 May,