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Fire On Fire
The Orchard
Young God Records
www.younggodrecords.com


The best parts of Fire On Fire's The Orchard are like listening to The Band at its peak. Just as Levon Helm conjured up ghosts from Civil War era America and somehow turned his aural haunting into hit records, this music sounds like somebody has transported modern day recording equipment back in time. There are places where the banjos trickle along like Victoria Williams' musical ramblings, with no particular place to go. Although Fire On Fire often gets labeled as country, chances are good that most contemporary country music fans won't recognize it. This isn't country music; it is music inspired by the country, instead. Tracks like "Assanine Race" are spooky, and walking into Fire On Fire's The Orchard feels like stumbling into a Southern polygamy cult where everybody else knows the score but you. You sit down, try not to stare, and do your best not to draw attention to yourself. This disc's title track features accordion against a banjo groove, and is one part Handsome Family, two parts Tom Waits gypsy street music. So how did a contemporary band come up with such an old time recording? Either they truly love these kinds of sounds, or they've read far too much classic American literature. Whatever the case, this is good stuff - in The Addams Family sort of way.

-Dan MacIntosh

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