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Review: 'FIRES'
'Red Goes Grey'   

-  Label: 'Metropolis Records'
-  Genre: 'Dance' -  Release Date: '8th September 2017'

Our Rating:
FIRES is the new project from Eric Sochocki (Cryogen Second, Becoming The Devourer), and according to the press release, it finds him returning to his dance roots, but with the caveat that this is a very different vehicle from those which preceded. As such, it promises ‘a direct reach inward and expressed in pop melodies, electronic rock, and nods to the retro-futurism of Synthwave’.

Ooh! Autotune! That’s my first thought on hearing the opening vocal lines of ‘Believe’, the first song on ‘Red Goes Grey’. How does this sit? Not entirely comfortably, as the process of choice for anodyne chart pop hitmakers, the connotations of unsubtle, overdone vocals don’t jibe well. There’s something tacky about it, and while there’s nothing wrong with pulling out any particular production technique to create a desired result, there’s a sense that this particular effect, when overdone and overused, strips the humanity and soul from a performance and can ever ruin a perfectly decent song. Unfortunately, it proliferates across the span of the album’s 10 tracks.

Still, ‘Red Goes Grey’ is a dance-orientated album with a keen pop sensibility, and it’s not all bad: ‘Counting Walls’ combines atmosphere with a soulful vocal delivery and a thumping disco beat. The title track is very Depeche Mode, and that’s no criticism. As evidenced on ‘Tell No-One’, FIRES can brood over an electro groove as well as anyone, and the autotuned does actually lends itself to the rippling glacial shoegaze of ‘Tide’. It’s a pity, then, that there isn’t more of that here: while it does have some decent tunes, ‘Red Goes Grey’ suffers from overproduction and teeters perilously close to the ‘commercial’ side of ‘accessible’.

  author: Christopher Nosnibor

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FIRES - Red Goes Grey