Review Summary: A fun, Ep-like record that is an ecstatic release of good times, made for the stadium and home speakers alike, leaving listeners craving for more.
Borne from the minds of Story of the Year Guitarists, Phil Sneed and Ryan Phillips, and Johnny Venus and Mark Roth of Maybe today, are the band Greek Fire. For every new band, the debut release is paramount; you have to be good enough to show potential, and gather in fans, and not overstay your welcome by making the record too long. Greek fire nail that, sounding more mature and unified than some bands who have been around for much longer with their first record.
The band’s sound is hard to classify, showing influences from all rock genres. The guitars show prog rock influences from bands like Muse and U2, the drumming shows influences from hardcore bands like Black Flag in songs like “Put Your Hands” on Me and “Down in México”. Vocally, Sneed’s voice is as versatile as any good pop singer, as much easier to digest and sing along with than the boys from maroon 5. Keyboards and synths are present through the entire CD, but never become overbearing, preferring instead to stay in the back, enhancing the songs, especially in “Break Me Down”, and “Just the Beginning”
The record, playing almost like an extended EP, is only 8 tracks long. First track, “Doesn’t matter Anyway” shows off their precise, stadium sound to a tee. Throughout the release, Sneed’s vocals soar and surf, but never become overbearing. The guitars are tuned to sound like a musical buzz saw, following and complimenting each other through technical melodies, and soaring when need be. The drumming is rather good, providing an excellent backdrop for the rest of the band. The bass never does anything out super interesting, but is better than average, never boring the listener.
Lyrically, Sneed is rather good, but is sticks to the fun, cliché, or inspirational side of things, evident in tracks like “Under the Stars” and “Down in Mexico”. However, seeing as these boys are here simply to rock your socks off, and not reinvent the genre’s wheel, the lyrics propel, rather than hinder the music, giving catchy lines one could belt out as loud as they could with the radio of their car.
Greek Fire have brought forth a record that’s fun, happy, but never too poppy, appealing to those of all genre faiths, but brings forth only one problem; its length. It’s too short. With 8 songs, it only barely breaks the 30 minute mark. If I could have one wish for this album, it would be to add at least two more tracks, I know Greek Fire have it in them. But that’s my only gripe, as all the tracks are pure, giddy Rock and Roll happiness. If you’re looking for a breath of fresh air, in ANY genre, this band is the one to find it.