Zahir is an Italian band that first formed in 2013 but didn’t actually fulfill the lineup till late 2014. They released Portrait of Zahir as a young band in February of last year and approximately one year later released Night and Fireflies.
The band has a unique sound but perhaps the most unique aspect is the vocals.They are distinct and I felt they largely defined the band's sound. The album has seven songs and I thought there were a couple clear highlights.
They open with “Julia” which is a fairly straightforward pop rock song flirting with a classic/hard rock vibe. I was oddly reminded of The Doors during the chorus. The band falls a little out of the pocket on occasion and it felt like a raw, live performance. The highlight is arguably “Foreigner Blues.” They have a bit of LA Noir vibe and sounded reminiscent of the vastly underrated band Clinic.
They have more success on “Mindless Beauty” which has a ’50s pop vibe and seemed like it would work nicely in a film like From Dusk Till Dawn. I especially enjoyed the vocal performance on this song. The production buckles a bit on “Eventually” where the band has moments where they lock in and then lose it.
They pull a 180 on the next track “Her Words” which is a piano led song that felt like it would be more appropriate in a play. I have to admit the difference between “Her Words” and “Eventually” felt quite vast. They go back into rock mode with “Sourdrop” which now sounds like ’70’s punk.
They close with a fifteen-minute song entitled “Wasting Time Has Consequences.” It’s funky, sometimes middle eastern and goes into a prog rock direction. The song is an impressive feat.
I left Night and Fireflies having no real idea of what type of band they were. The band jumps around stylistically and thematically with such distinction there is no way to pigeonhole them. By doing this the band is also missing out on a crucial aspect of building an audience and that is having some sort of sound that identifies them.
I encourage them to see in the future how they can tie their songs together and create a more cohesive sound. Overall, I really enjoyed the individual songs. There was great delivery and songwriting. The band just needs to have a little more direction at this point if they want to take it to the next level.
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