Fire Cleans Everything EP originally released on Election Day (11/04/2020) immediately grabs you with a sense of the tension across the U.S. in 2020.
The opener and title track Fire Cleans Everything the sophomore release from Redwing Blackbird (Denver Based Band, by way of Phoenix, AZ) picks up almost as soon as the song starts with the steady rumble of the drums and driving bass line that, just as easily could have been released in 1984 as today to be answered in turn by the slow whining drone of the guitar.
Paul Bakers vocals on this release reminds me of the first time experienced Red Lorry Yellow Lorry’s Nothing Wrong.
This screams post punk protest music with the restraint of a stalking jaguar as Paul Chants, “FIRE CLEANS EVERYTHING”
This momentum continues on in the liquidity psychedelia of Space Bridge. Something in this track pulls in thoughts of cult band Slint’s Album Spiderland.
Powerful yet just understated enough to become a cult classic.
RW/BB bring things down a notch with Rake, a down tempo neon ballad laced with the echo of western guitar. This track exposes so much aurally that the story becomes visual, as Paul crones Well I use to wake/ Run with the moon/Live like a Rake in such a way that could have just as easily come from the mouth of Nick Cave or Michael Gira, and take you on a journey down the highway heading away from the chaos of the city, even if it is just for a moment in a seedy hotel
Closing this brilliantly composed EP is the chillingly upbeat yet apropos Guillotine, bring me right back to that Red Lorry Yellow Lorry experience. The smell of decaying card board of the Used Trax, and the head phone encapsulating me in some dark embrace that will last for years.
This is a modern Post Punk Classic in Waiting.
Redwing Blackbird (bandcamp.com)
Images courtesy of Sarah Martinez