Monday, May 8, 2017

EP Review: FIRESTICK Four song EP

When interviewing vocalist Monty “Gypsy Nation” Lindsay we spoke at length about Martha Dumptruck, a band he fronted when our paths crossed in 1996. This band personified the grimy streets and seedy atmosphere of Manhattan’s East Village playing the club circuit (Pyramid, CBGB) and releasing one full length that received a healthy amount of press attention. The band was short lived but channeled the collective rage of the punk scene in an insurmountable wave. We went on to discuss his move from the city and eventual formation of Firestick in 2016. Though they hadn’t released an EP, it has recently been uploaded to their community page on Facebook for free streaming. With Firestick I realize while times have changed the spirit Martha Dumptruck personified has refused to fade into nothingness, as they are a similar focal point for Seattle and Los Angeles. The bass guitar opening the first track from their EP eschews glamor, glitz and glitter, instead symbolizing the darker sides of those cities, from where Black Flag and Nirvana came before larger companies made grunge something to be mass marketed. If you are responsive while listening you’ll start to perceive something more vibrant and vital starting to emerge. The band don’t limit themselves to any single genre, but they don’t fake eclecticism either. Their musicianship sounds fresh and hungry, as if they were in their early twenties and just starting out. No lyrics are provided at Facebook but Lindsay’s diction makes the lyrics easy to discern. That first track I hinted at, Manifest, starts the EP with a Black Sabbath-esque stoner rock/doom metal vibe, only more uplifting than usual. It reminded me of going to see local bands like Borgo Pass around 1992-93, the energy is the same. After some consideration I’d say this is a favorite, though the following songs have something different to offer. Full Circle has more stoner rock with some funk added. If you didn’t think this was possible the band achieve it nicely. Listening to this a few times I think this one is another favorite of mine. DTPA features tribal percussion and atmospheric guitars to accompany crunching riffs and a chorus resonating of early grunge. The Source finally takes a turn toward Rage Against The Machine with synths and some hip hop. The organic elements in those songs are fueled significantly by the vitality behind them. The band has maintained that vitality in four songs, what’s next for them is demonstrating how well they do so on a full album. -Dave Wolff

Track list:
1. Manifest
2. Full Circle
4. The Source

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