Some stories take a while to tell and some journeys take a while to complete. Firestations‘ Never Closer takes a while, but is worth every minute. The band, a London five-piece that includes members of Astronauts, Dark Captain, Quickspace and Left With Pictures, recorded most of the album to 8 track tape over five summer days, and spent another few months putting on finishing touches at their home studio.
A fun journey from start to finish, it begins with “French Caves”, and you can practically see a hazy sunset on the horizon as the song’s mostly gentle wash contrasts with a more pointed bridge. The album drives steadily along the indiepop road, making some electropop detours – such as in “Forgetful Man”, which also adds a slow sense of dance. We also see some upbeat pop along the way, as in the dance song with a 60s twist, “Cold Sweaty Palms.” Particularly fun in its darker moments, the band uses a subdued groove with subtle accents of clarinet and baritone vocals in “Masemenos”, and a moody soundscape devoid of vocals in “Always Further.”
The eponymous “Never Closer” showcases the album’s average pace with bright guitars; a warm, tube amp bass tone; a crispy, rather than boomy, drum mix; and almost-too-mellow vocals.
The trip gradually ends with “Alma”, a suitably epic (almost 8-minute) closer, full of interesting chord progressions on an acoustic guitar. It concludes an album that’s constantly moving, but never really trying to get anywhere; content in the moment; and keenly aware of, but not overly concerned with, the future. On this holiday weekend, that makes it perfect road music on a drive out to feast with friends and family. Hey, when it comes to both pumpkin pie and good tunes, dig in.
Latest posts by Kent Heberling (see all)
- Get Back on the Dead Horses with “Ain’t Got Time” - October 15, 2015
- Jaems Murphy’s Vedic Eden – I Would For You - June 1, 2015
- All the Pieces in Place in The Mood Manual’s Authentic Tensegrity - April 30, 2015