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Some Cast Fire


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  • 3 weeks later...

Gave this a listen this morning. I liked the opening track a lot, and immediately looked forward to the rest of the album, but the pacing slowed down dramatically, and I'll admit that my attention was lost a little after that. That's not to say I didn't like it—it just lost a bit of impact and immediacy.

It struck me as an album that was probably a lot of fun to write and record—I like the fuzz on the final track especially; I find it very satisfying.

Thanks for sharing.

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  • 2 weeks later...

...Or the weekend after. Anyway:


(I listened to each track probably a couple of times piecemeal and not really in order.)


Home is the pick of the bunch, as is, for me. It has a strong Elliot Smith vibe (well, I had one album of his); the guitar sounds are all pleasant and fit together nicely, and the soft vocals just gel in a way that they don’t on the other tracks. The strumming, which could otherwise get repetitive, is broken up nicely by the more post-rock swells (maybe something to look at for the other tracks, see further down).


Warpaint has the most potential for me, and maybe the most to critique. I like the guitar work: it’s pretty powerful sounding and atmospheric over the whole track. The vocals, not so much: at some points the lilt of the vocals hit nicely, but most of the time the lo-fi half-spoken sounds don’t gel with this big, pretty slick sound-scape, and are a distraction. Maybe you can improve the performance and/or tweak the vocals to more occasional ornamentation, but I think this is the one that could most use outside help - a singer; or keys might work as an alternative lead. Similar is Roses, The Roses, although not as extreme (compared to Warpaint): the sounds are nice, but not quite as potent and epic; while the vocals are not great, but not as much of an annoyance.


A few similar criticisms for the other tracks. Parts of The Great Wave scream like you’re channelling the Hendrix-mode chord melody (or chords and melody) thing, then it veers of into pretty insipid strumming and vocal-led singer-songwriter territory. And You again has not unpleasant but too-repetitive strumming and not enough movement in the chords, nor in the structure/ general vibe. Tried a Little Witchcraft is similar-ish: the first half of this is, personally, pretty much a dirge and probably my least favourite part of the album. The guitar freakout that comes in brings in some welcome soul, but doesn’t go far enough for me. I think you should maybe go all Dave Navarro and just let rip. No? Maybe build up some of the wider soundscapes of the other tracks; either way, going back to those arpeggios just when the track seems to have gotten going feels like a lame anticlimax. Iron - the lyrics here are intriguing, but again the strumming, while initially nice enough, quickly bores, along with the unvarying vocal style.


The Words - This has a somewhat different feel (you mentioned doing more of this as a separate project). There’s a bit too much distortion, and whatever other filtering, on this, for my taste; and the vocals sound suspiciously like they’re just being buried. There are some pleasant guitars - with the FX dialled off a bit and a dedicated singer this could be more listenable, if probably a bit MOR for my liking.


Overall some good stuff, and a lot of potential, for my tastes. My advice would be to maybe get a keyboard if you can’t get a singer (which would seem to be the obvious move, if at all possible). And maybe working on the classic chord melody game (or some Wes-esque bits of jazz; I don’t mean turn into jazz, just some more melody and movement in the chords) could giver the weaker, strummy bits a nice boot up the arse.

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