Fire!
Defeat


3.5
great

Review

by Ben STAFF
February 24th, 2021 | 38 replies


Release Date: 2021 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Nordic man assaults flute

Whether or not you’re likely to revel in Defeat will depend entirely on whether you appreciate (or, perhaps more accurately, are able to tolerate) the sound of violently-blown wind instruments. You see, Mats Gustafsson doesn't really play the flute, so much as he strives to force the very core of his being through its tiny, cylindrical body until an appropriately angry and almost melodic assortment of notes make themselves known to the world. It's, erm, bizarre ... but kinda fun(!), assuming you're into that kind of thing. On “A Random Belt. Rats You Out.” and “Alien (To My Feet)”, you can actually hear the man yelping in the background, squawking alongside his atonal flute-y tooting, such is the breathlessness and vigor of his playing. Things settle down a little during the middle stretch of the record, even if Gustafsson isn't much kinder to his saxophone. The two part epic “Each Millimeter Of The Toad'' sees him weaponise his instrument’s weaving, winding warbling into macabre, mangled contortions, softened only by the soothing guest trumpet and trombone of Goran Kajfes and Mats Aleklint. Their slightly softer touch helps guide our protagonist back down from the ledge, his sax collapsing gratefully into relative bliss.

Fire!’s 2021 release is free jazz at its most surreal, though Johan Berthling and Andreas Werlin don’t seem to mind. The two remaining parts of the three-piece appear content to merily groove away on their respective instruments, seemingly oblivious to Gustafsson screaming bloody murder somewhere off-screen. Their supple rhythm work acts as the scaffolding that stabilises Gustafsson’s otherwise-unbridled chaos, their drum kicks and bass lines forming the strained foundation for the record’s ungainly compositions. Thanks to their hard work, Defeat just about manages to retain an air of listenability. It’s challenging, certainly, yet also toe-tappingly accessible - one's head forced to bob enthusiastically despite the eerie, chameleonic tapestry that the band stitches together. Imparted with this rhythmic, trance-like structure, the formless tendencies of Fire! are recontextualised and elevated, such that the resultant performance is truly wonderful to behold. Then again, I’m still not sure I get what Defeat really is or means, it remaining difficult to grasp despite its relative accessibility. What I do know, however, is this: somewhere in the world there exists a highly aggrieved piece of wood, violated at the remorseless hands of a Nordic madman. I’m pretty sure it’s looking to sue.



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user ratings (20)
3.5
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
AsleepInTheBack
Staff Reviewer
February 24th 2021


10219 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this probably could have done with being fleshed out a little more, but i thought id pull together something short and sweet.



a rather weird release from the little brother of Fire! Orchestra that sounds like nothing else i've heard this year. give it a peak.

Lord(e)Po)))ts
February 24th 2021


70242 Comments


nice, just saw this was released like 5 minutes before you posted this lmao

MiloRuggles
Staff Reviewer
February 24th 2021


3033 Comments


Absolutely love this review. Excited to bear witness to this assault.

AsleepInTheBack
Staff Reviewer
February 24th 2021


10219 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

< 3



hope you boyos enjoy. still not entirely sure how i feel about this, but it's certainly an experience.

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
February 25th 2021


32047 Comments


Chuckled all my way through haha, nice job Ben.

Sowing
Moderator
February 25th 2021


43957 Comments


Your work is some of my favorite on this site.

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
February 25th 2021


32047 Comments


Thank you Sowing, but please, haha, you're embarrassing me...

Gnocchi
Staff Reviewer
February 25th 2021


18257 Comments


It is a pretty good chuckle though Dewinged.

Tyler.
February 25th 2021


19022 Comments


cant wait to check this out

DadKungFu
Staff Reviewer
February 25th 2021


4878 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

You sold the shit out of this album cant wait to check it out [2]

BlushfulHippocrene
Staff Reviewer
February 25th 2021


4052 Comments


Really love this review, brother, easily one of your best. I will listen to this again, listened once the night it came out but couldn't get into it, might've been too tired for it.

Ebola
February 25th 2021


4522 Comments


I can't possibly imagine myself enjoying this, but outstanding write-up nonetheless

dedex
Staff Reviewer
February 25th 2021


12788 Comments


the Ben duderino coming hard with the rev

loved all Fire! Orchestra records, will peep this one

JesperL
Staff Reviewer
February 25th 2021


5480 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

fire! review, i'm def intrigued now so will give it a listen!

AsleepInTheBack
Staff Reviewer
February 25th 2021


10219 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

why are you lot so nice goddamn thank you < 3



@blush yeah lol i could imagine this being a headache if you were already tired

Gnocchi
Staff Reviewer
February 25th 2021


18257 Comments


Karma mostly.

WalrusTusk
February 25th 2021


1813 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

It was boring.

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
February 25th 2021


32047 Comments


Well rip

AsleepInTheBack
Staff Reviewer
February 25th 2021


10219 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Gasp! No?! Can it be?!



Yes, it must be so...



Walrus IS the disgruntled flute

AsleepInTheBack
Staff Reviewer
February 25th 2021


10219 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

jk jk sorry to hear you didn't enjoy this bud



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