Fire in the Attic are a German post-hardcore outfit. Consisting of 5 members, Fire in the Attic have gained some popularlity in their home country with support slots such as Finch, Coheed & Cambria and Hot Water Music.
Fire in the Attic
Ole Feltes - Vocals
Richard Meyer - Guitar / Vocals
Daniel Crebelli - Guitar
Dennis Meyer - Bass
Daniel Plotzki - Drums
When I was first assigned Crush/Rebuild
for Sputnik's Review a Random Album competition/game/whatever, I expected to hear a band that sounded like Sunny Day Real Estate. When I managed to acquire the album, I found that my prediction wasn't far off. Crush/Rebuild
is - as far as I can tell - Fire in the Attic's first full length album. Consisting of 11 full songs (and one instrumental sort of interlude), Crush/Rebuild
clocks in at just over 40 minutes, a nice time for a debut. I will admit that when I first heard this record, I didn't like it much. This was probably due to the fact that it's not a particularly original album. It's hard to pick a specific band that Fire in the Attic sound similar to, but I (and I'm sure most other listeners) found that I had heard everything that Fire in the Attic are doing before. All of the characteristics you'd expect to find in this genre are in full force on this album; palm muted verses, half sung/half screamed vocals, breakdowns, large dynamic contrasts and enormous choruses all make regular appearances. The other reason I didn't like the album so much at first was that there are a few tracks scattered throughout which aren't particularly great.
Though I had a few gripes with this record at first, there were a few things that stood out to me quite a bit. Firstly, the musicianship found on Crush/Rebuild
is quite good. As a band, they seem to work very well together and the interplay between band members is very tight. They seem to understand their chosen genre pretty well and they work well within the context of that genre. The occasional use of acoustic guitars and electronics gives the album a slight edge as well. What's most interesting about the musical component of this album is not what
the musicians are playing (what they play is quite typical of their genre), how
they play it within the context of the band. The guitar and bass riffs are interesting at times, but generally quite formulaic. Likewise, the vocals stick to a sing/scream formula and they rarely stray from these two sounds. In the way of percussion, this album is tight, but nothing particularly special or interesting.
The album's production is quite dirty and fuzzy, which doesn't help the songs very much. The songs would have benefited a lot more from a crisper, cleaner production where dynamics are better contrasted and the instruments are generally a lot more clear. The structure of the album is really quite interesting in that it rewards listeners who stick around to hear the whole record, but seems to offer the album's weakest tracks towards the beginning. Although the first track of the album is one of it's strongest, the rest of the early tracks are among the album's weakest. Set roughly in the middle of the album, the instrumental interlude "Ctrl + Alt + Del" is probably the album's strongest track, making use of of electronics and emotional guitar work.
Though not without it's issues, Crush/Rebuild
is a catchy and solid album that fans of this genre will find much to like in. For a band who have only been together three years, Fire in the Attic show some great potential.
Generally a very solid album
Sometimes too cliched
Somewhat ineffective production
A few tracks aren't particularly good
Ctrl + Alt + Del
FINAL RATING: 3.5/5