Deep and Dense
Album Review: Firesuite – You’re an Ocean Deep, My Brother
The first time I listened to Sheffield-based band Firesuite’s new album, ‘You’re An Ocean Deep, My Brother’ I almost had a cortical aneurism and it took me a full four weeks to pluck up the courage to listen to it again.
Let me explain…this record is so big, so epic and dense that I really think it is going to be of massive importance to this band’s career. When I heard it I went, “Oh my god…” and I couldn’t really take in the sheer heroic scale of thing. All I could think was, “How the hell am I going to review this?!!!” Well, eventually I managed to think up some strings of word-descriptors to do so; I was planning a piece of expressive contemporary dance but the editors pulled the plug on that at the last minute…so, words it will be.
I suppose the best place to start would be ‘What kind of music is it?’ Well, it’s heavy, it is prog, it’s straight rock, sometimes it’s a sonic wall of pure musical brawn, its always melodic, sometimes beautiful and a little bit larger-than-life.
We’ve got two soaring voices, male and female, some pretty weighty guitar licks, a ridiculously noisy drummer and a bassist who is (frankly) incredible. Sometimes the record sounds violent and harsh, particularly on songs such as ‘Sammy Davis Jr Jr’ and then this is juxtaposed against the following track ‘Stay’ with it’s lovely harmonies and melodic guitars which build to a clattering and forceful climax at the end of the track.
The recording itself sounds like most recordings that are produced by unsigned bands, slightly under-produced and raw but that is no bad thing when it comes to Firesuite, a band who have the power to harness the raw intensity of noise. It’s not just creating powerful sounds, but dense and compelling feelings within the listener which allows you to actually make some kind of emotional connection with the album.
There are some more chilled out moments on the record, such as instrumental track ‘Sci-Fi Lullaby’ which pretty much does what it says on the tin! But it also allows the awesome bassist to show off some reverberating melodic noodling and the drummer to crack out some drum n’bass-esque beats. Also there’s ‘Forever December’ which is my favourite track, due to its beautiful (almost eerie) melodies and raw lyrical delivery. These chilled out moments can also be some of the more interesting and experimental parts of the record.
In its own way ‘You’re An Ocean Deep’ is very diverse and covers a wide range of genres but there is no mistaking that Firesuite have a distinctive sound and approach to music. As far as I am concerned they could probably choose to make another album that sounds completely different to this one but both of them would be amazing.
I really can’t wait to hear this stuff live; if it’s delivered with the same zeal and stark force as it is on the record then I’m sure it will be brilliant.
But if these word-strings haven’t sold it to you yet, my dancing comes highly recommended…..by me.