Enjoy the Journey with Firestations’ “Never Closer”

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.

Kent Heberling

Kent is a player and appreciator of all kinds of music. He values originality and musical craftsmanship, and prefers small local shows to bigger acts. You can find him playing with Whiskey Doubles, and {ELSE} in Milwaukee, WI.
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