Birds Of Tokyo
This Fire


4.0
excellent

Review

by Pistol Pete USER (31 Reviews)
October 6th, 2012 | 22 replies | 4,846 views


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Depressing the shit out of you, one beautiful track at a time.

3 of 3 thought this review was well written

Ian Kenny has been an interesting person to watch these past few years. He’s had two wildly successful bands surface in Australia and shows literally no signs of letting up. He constantly works with one group or the other, answering the prayers of one fan base and frustrating the fans of the other. While there are those of us who are perfectly happy with him simply working on something, as of late, the prog fans have watched with sad puppy eyes as he has focused attention on his more indie rock fetishes. As of the beginning of 2013, he will have made two LPs and one EP with Birds of Tokyo since the masterpiece Sound Awake released with Karnivool in 2009. It’s quite amazing to watch the drastically different directions he’s chartered both bands. With Birds of Tokyo, he’s opted away from the catchier and heavier alternative rock we saw in their stellar sophomore album Universes. The 2010 self-titled album slowed the pace down a bit, with more ambient songs and This Fire serves as a continuation of that direction, offering a brief glimpse of what we could expect from their next LP in 2013.

The new EP truly is uncharted territory for the band. Its song structures are spacious and drawn out, with more synthesized sounds to create a brooding, almost bittersweet atmosphere. The songs all progress from softer, serene beginnings into emotional chants, the best example being the opening title track where the pace changes from quieter percussions and guitars into Kenny’s rebellious chorus of “This fire, this fire, this fire, we let it all burn” . Kenny’s vocals sound more relaxed and have further delved into the softer side, as he carries his heavenly voice effortlessly over the organ in the opening verses of “Boy”. It creates a mood that can be quite depressing at times, with lyrics like “even on cold days, my door’s always open, where gray is enough light to colour my world”. But that’s just the direction Ian Kenny has taken the band in; we saw this in their self-titled back in 2010 where they opened with the song “Plans”. This Fire is an EP full of songs similar to that, and it shows a band starting to discover new strengths as they veer away from conventional rock.

This EP is a collection of four beautiful songs that show a band experimenting with their sound and being excited by the results. Now let’s see if they can scale that up to a full album later on.



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user ratings (12)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
PistolPete
October 6th 2012



3556 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

There's no stream I could find, but the album is released so you can purchase it on iTunes like I did. As a sampler though,

“This Fire”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sSpwcAvoo2o

I also recommend the song "Boy", that's another tear-jerker from the Birds, such a beautiful song.

Digging: Nothing More - Nothing More

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
October 6th 2012



15785 Comments


tokyo birds are delectable

Digging: Synaesthesia (UK) - Synaesthesia

PistolPete
October 6th 2012



3556 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

best kind of birds, scrumptious!

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
October 6th 2012



9977 Comments


I thought this was coming out this year?

Digging: Deniro Farrar - Rebirth

PistolPete
October 6th 2012



3556 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

date's wrong =(

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
October 6th 2012



9977 Comments


That makes more sense.

Listened to This Fire, and this is definitely a different from their other stuff. The chorus happened too much for my liking and was too repetitive, but I enjoy the more atmospheric style the track creates.

PistolPete
October 6th 2012



3556 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

They reeeeaaaallly sound like Coldplay now, especially that last track on this. That's why I put "X&Y" as a recommended album.

Scoot
October 6th 2012



17678 Comments


gotta check this, hopefully better than the st

Digging: Unjust - Glow

YoYoMancuso
October 6th 2012



10827 Comments


nice review man, this sounds really cool based on your description. pos'd

heavenstomurgatroyd
October 6th 2012



17 Comments


much as i love ian kenny, think i'll have to hear the whole thing before i know if it's for me or not. nice review though, have a pos.

PistolPete
October 6th 2012



3556 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I think Universes will remain my favorite album from these guys, but I've grown to like how tamed and gentle their music has become. No matter what they give us 2013, I'll probably be down.

Cipieron
October 6th 2012



3508 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

kinda wish they'd just release the whole album in one go, not this ep first bullshit


exactly what Down is doing too and it's stupid


this is tits awesome though, so i can't be too mad

Douglas
October 7th 2012



9052 Comments


We make plaaaaans

Douglas
October 7th 2012



9052 Comments


We make plaaaaans

Vooligan
October 11th 2012



3541 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Great review.

I don't really like the title track, but the other three are stunning. Gives off a real Silversun Pickups vibe

PistolPete
October 14th 2012



3556 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Aww thanks Vool ;]

Pretty sure they won't be topping Universes though, that's my favorite Aussie-rock album from that whole wave of them.

KerfuffleinaHussle
October 14th 2012



727 Comments


Can't quite decide what I think of this.

It's definitely got promise and I think potentially the whole "ambient-soft-rock" thing could suit them well, but I don't think they've quite mastered it yet. Needs some tweaking.

IMO Boy is the best track, such a great chorus, and This Fire is the worst. I dunno, I preferred the old lyrics to This Fire he used to sing live..

PistolPete
October 14th 2012



3556 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Boy is without a doubt the best song on here. The band was saying they had more songs than they knew what to do with, that's why this EP came into play I think. That might mean the songs they kept for the upcoming LP were the "well-chosen" ones.

WhiteNoise
October 18th 2012



3040 Comments


I always forget that I actually really like this band. I'm gonna give it a listen now.

Digging: Dot Hacker - How's Your Process? (Work)

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
November 1st 2012



20855 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Having switched bassists & officially added keys man Glenn Sarangapany, Australian alt-rockers Birds Of Tokyo experiment a little on 4 track EP 'This Fire'. Not exactly shelving their hard-hitting, poppy or theatrical sides, the now quintet appear to channel a more moody & atmospheric direction. It's definitely an interesting sound & one that is ably assisted by Ian Kenny's delicate vocals, but there is still some work to be done on the melodies. It is unknown whether this 19 minutes worth is a true teaser for the band's upcoming 4th LP or simply offcuts... Either way, the balance isn't quite right as a stand-alone release. Recommended Tracks: This Fire & Boy.



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