Thursday, July 16, 2015
Cassette Review: Fir Cone Children "Everything Is Easy" (Blackjack Illuminist Records)
[€5 // https://blackjackilluministrecords.bandcamp.com/album/everything-is-easy]
While it is difficult for me to pinpoint an exact comparison for the music of Fir Cone Children, I can at least give you some general descriptions and ideas of what these songs sound like. First and foremost, it is worth noting that the songs can trade off between female and male vocals. At times- ever so slightly- they will sing together, but mainly when there is one there is not another so it's less of that Rainer Maria (or Of Monsters and Men for you youngsters) singing together and more of taking turns, for which I do not have a reference on hand at the moment.
Melodic fuzz brings out comparisons of everything from Speedy Ortiz, No Joy, Garbage, Schatzi, Weezer, Deerhoof, Stone Temple Pilots and even Blind Melon. At times I can hear some definite "Big Girls Don't Cry" influences but these are upbeat, energetic songs that hit hard and fast but not in the way that hardcore punk does as they maintain most of their garage/psych/rock n roll qualities just as easily. Through punk and dreamgaze there is just a sound that I have heard before, such as Savage Sister for example, but not played in this way.
The sort of titular track, which appears on Side A, brings about these big beats which do come out again in later songs but it just makes me feel like this was on this one path, close to becoming something such as a band on Burger Records, and then they really just took it up a notch and said, "Hey, we're not going to be defined by genre or style" and showed that they are not as one dimensional as many of those artists tend to be.
To me, Fir Cone Children is a band that time forgot. Imagine going into a thrift store and finding a cassette that was from the mid to late 1990's and it looked really cool so you thought to yourself, why not, I'll spend the dollar and try it out. It'd be like someone finding That Dog, Veruca Salt or even PJ Harvey for the first time on cassette right now even though I'd hardly consider those to be artists that got lost throughout the course of time. At the same time though, Fir Cone Children generate just as much modern sound as any band on Sub Pop or any other such label and so it creates the perfect balance for me.
For all of the different styles of music that I listen to I only really ask myself a handful of questions when I decide whether or not I like it (Though usually it's just one of those "easy on the ears" factors that does it, such as in this case) Is the music closely related to something that exists but yet doesn't sound exactly like any single artist out there? (Basically, that's to make sure it isn't ripping anyone else off directly) Does the music belong on cassette? And by that I mean, could you hear it on cassette during the original cassette run (Though back then, I suppose everything was on cassette wasn't it?) Fir Cone Children passes all of these questions with flying colors and this is one of the finest cassettes I have ever heard.