The Fireside Relics is a band out of Springfield, IL that says they are doing their best to escape the restraints of a small town cover band. After taking a listen to their self-titled debut The Fireside Relics I think they are doing a pretty good job. They avoid sounding like any one band in particular which is a good thing but at the same time their own sound is elusive,
The band comprised of Kristi Lecocq (vocals/acoustic guitar), Nick Park (vocals/rhythm guitar), Dave Helm (vocals/various instruments), Jon Harvel (vocals/bass guitar), Aaron Davis (lead guitar), Edward J. Williamson (drums) and Carl Becker (keyboards/trumpet) don’t do anything too crazy like attempting EDM then a rock song but more like piano bar rock, hard rock and country. Although I felt like their sound was a bit elusive after listening to the album that doesn't mean there weren’t some inspired moments.
The band gets rolling with a catchy rock song entitled “Movin' On.” I enjoyed the way the vocals went back and forth between the male and female lead. It’s a fairly straightforward song where the Franz Ferdinand style verse is its strongest aspect.
Next up is “Vanishing In The Hills” which initially revolves around vocals, guitar and a bit of atmosphere. It’s really serene and still sounding and contains a couple of initial build-ups, which bring you back to the verse. The band eventually is done with the foreplay and gets down to rocking out.
“Not Quite Right” is surely an ambitious track. The thing I noticed was the band basically jumped around genres during different parts rather than combining them throughout. The verse has a bluesy, piano bar feel while the chorus felt like straight up hard rock. They even go into a prog-rock jam session.
One of the best moments is on “Out In The Fields.” The band is having a fun jam session with the lead guitar wailing and they emerge into one of the band's most heartfelt, nostalgic moments. Another highlight is “Down That Road” which is catchy and fun.
This album grew on me. I don’t feel as if the band has reached its full potential but this album is certainly a nice way to get there. One thing that I kept thinking is that this band is probably pretty incredible live. The spirit in which these songs are delivered seem tailor made for a live audience. Check them out live if you can and do yourself a favor and give this album a couple of spins as well.
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