Jun 2018 27

FIRES - Red Goes GreyFIRES
Category: Electro / Rock / Synthwave
Album: Red Goes Grey
Blurb: Eric Sochocki lightens up and brings us a dance music album that starts off rocky, but eventually finds its way.


Red Goes Grey is Eric Sochocki’s first full-length album as FIRES. At first, the project feels like a far cry from his other two bands – Cryogen Second is an electro/industrial group with aggressive vocals and lyrics, while Becoming the Devourer is a post-metal group with meticulous guitar lines, delicate electronics, and the occasional death metal vocal. But if you follow the history of those two bands, FIRES makes sense. At the end of its life, Cryogen Second’s sound had become similar to the sound that became FIRES, if perhaps just a heavier version of it. Becoming the Devourer was an outlet for Sochicki’s post-metal fandom, but he has said in interviews that he had felt burned out on writing that kind of music and writing simpler, pop structured dance music was the response to that feeling, which led to the creation of FIRES.

The record starts off with “Believe Me,” which isn’t putting the album’s best foot forward. While the track is great from a technical perspective, it fails to make a big impression; it has a good looping synth line throughout the track, a danceable drumbeat, and a guitar line that adds a bit to the overall feel, but melodically, there isn’t much to latch onto and it ends up feeling flat. Then the album picks up with “Counting Walls” as it takes the synths, adds a slap style bass, and picks up the pace. And this time, it includes a fantastic driving chorus that can easily get stuck in your head. The next two songs follow the same pattern as “Red Flags” leans back into a flat feeling, the subsequent title track going back to more melodic with an even more infectious chorus. After that, the album begins to find a middleground. “Tell No One” is one of two instrumentals that really showcases Sochocki’s musical talent with its cinematic cyberpunk feel with some modern EDM type production that cuts in with an overdriven bassline, chopping it occasionally to give it a light glitch sound. The other instrumental track, “Follower” also has a cyberpunk feel to it, but with less retro and more of a live bass sound. “Tide” is one of the slower songs on the album, and while the majority of the vocals are light on the effects, the chorus is heavily filtered and it comes off pleasantly sounding like a synthwave version of “Worlock” from Skinny Puppy. The album ties up with the slow piano ballad “Some Kind of Progress.” Sochocki keeps it simple for most of the song, with just his voice, piano, light bass, and a singular drumbeat. Then in the last chorus, he piles on the rest of the instruments with more drums, guitar, and synths to give the album a proper emotional sendoff.

While Red Goes Grey stumbles a bit at the beginning, it eventually finds its footing. Even when the album is at its worst, it’s still good where it counts and there is always something interesting going on musically. And of course, Sochocki has so much production talent in him that once he finds a hook, he can craft a masterful pop song out of it, as he does throughout this album.
Track list:

  1. Believe Me
  2. Counting Walls
  3. Red Flags
  4. Red Goes Grey
  5. Tell No One
  6. Tide
  7. To Be All Alone
  8. Words and Silence
  9. Follower
  10. Some Kind of Progress

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Metropolis Records
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Purchase at:
Amazon CD
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Storming the Base CD
Doug Leach (nowandforalltime)

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