Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Cassette Review: Fir Cone Children "Firconium" (Blackjack Illuminist Records)

[€5 // Edition of 15 // https://blackjackilluministrecords.bandcamp.com/album/firconium]

From "Everything Is Easy" to "The Age Of Blastbeatles", this is my third time hearing Fir Cone Children on cassette and so it only seems appropriate it would be titled "Firconium".   Of course I can only see the title as a combination of "Fir Cone" and "pandemonium", much like how others before them have added -mania to the end of their name, which brings back thoughts of The Beatles (Beatlemania) and even Hulk Hogan (Hulkamania)-- and don't laugh because I have a Hulk Hogan cassette I might review one day.

At this point I can only imagine you have also heard Fir Cone Children by now and are familiar enough with their music for me to not have to go into too great of detail about it.   I like to think- and not just because of their album title references- that I'm living back in a time when someone like The Beatles hit.   You know, there was a time when bands could release albums and not really be known (like how Nirvana didn't really get widely reviewed until their third album), but I feel for some reason like in the time of The Beatles every album they put out from day one was reviewed by everyone.

So you just imagine being someone writing and/or reading a review for a third album by a widely known artist that everyone loves and respects.    That's how I feel about this Fir Cone Children cassette although obviously Fir Cone Children doesn't have the same household name value as, say, Neon Trees or some other radio artist right now, but hey, the musical universe is upside down at this point in time and I'm working as hard as I can to change that.   (Why is it that the most popular artists have the least talent and the ones with the most talent are seemingly scraping by?  Let's fix it now!)

Fuzzy, loud and melodic are three solid words to describe the sounds of Fir Cone Children.   They have that feel where they could be on the "Angus" soundtrack, as they are contemporaries with artists such as Weezer and Smoking Popes but don't share enough of the same qualities for me to make a statement such as "This sounds like Weezer".    There are elements of Grouplove in here, who I fell in love with some time ago and enjoy even more now since they sing the song for "Bojack Horseman" in the end credits and, you know, if we're straight-shooting the song "Family (First Encounter)" reminds me a bit of George Michael's "Faith" in the lighter parts.

From Blur to that Beverly Hills 90210 smooth rock, this can also take on a sound which is somewhat twee in its roots.    It's not that Fir Cone Children is all over the place-- it's that there is this genre of music which could be stoner pop rock (or distorted instead of stoner) which Arthur Yoria tends to favor, and within it exist all of these sub-genres.   Fir Cone Children explore some of those sub-genres through this cassette but it just flows so fluidly that it doesn't sound like they're really even leaving one genre, which is what I would say the sound is overall.

There is also a distorted, energetic anthem "(We Are) Fir Cone Children" and it just captures everything I love about this music so well.    I'm not saying by any means that every artist out there should have their own theme song but the fact that Fir Cone Children have created one here just goes to show you not only how good this music is but also how far onto that next level it is as well.     This is truly the type of music people will look back on years from now- decades even- and say was ahead of its time.

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