Fire on Fire is like an antiquated wagon wheel, mended, yet imperfect; sound for travel, but far from a smooth ride. Like that rolling wheel, the collective utilizes cyclic repetition, adding texture to sparse instrumentation, and creating a vehicle for the heaving choruses that mark each composition on the Maine quintet’s full-length debut, The Orchard.
But this irreverent menagerie of beautifully damaged sound isn’t by chance. Fire on Fire formed in a kitchen, its members formerly of the art-punk, progressive band Cerberus Shoal. Consisting of upright bass, mandolin, banjo, harmonium, accordion, acoustic guitar, dobro, and five able voices, Fire on Fire embraces a raw, unbridled energy. The players becoming ever more enrapt in the music, the singing and playing growing frenzied, impassioned, louder, and energized. “Sirocco” pumps sound like an accordion beneath a devilish chorus of voices, “Heavy D” builds tension with each lyrical pass, and the title track slinks with saloon swagger.
Fire on Fire shines in its passionate, unpretentious cohesion, making The Orchard a stringed gospel revival steeped in sounds and voices, old and new.
The Orchard is out now on Young God Records.