Seattle band Flicker and Fade’s debut EP “Start a Fire” is an interesting blend of electric and acoustic arrangements of same songs that create a sonic range spanning from punchy instrumentals through an emotional execution. While calling this EP might be a stretch to some, the arrangements carry themselves well enough to provide some enjoyment in the process.
Two Halves of a Whole
The EP can be categorized into two parts. One half electric full-band arrangements and another of acoustic versions of preexisting songs on the record (“The Storm” and “Don’t Worry”). While this seems to borderline as a trait of deluxe bonus content albums (i.e: “Target” editions), it actually feels surprisingly complimentary as the songwriting is placed once again front and center, elevating it as the premium aspect of the record.
This range is best demonstrated in opener “The Storm” which immediately hits you with crisp cut symphonic melodies followed by electronic drum samples that surprisingly fit well within the mix, to a much more grounded listen as the band plays into their melodic strengths with a more highlighted chorus in their acoustic incarnations.
The production itself creates these juicy guitars on both halves, which really serve the ear nicely as it transitions from more nuanced to more aggressive tones that push the songs forward in stride. That said, the mix seems to also prioritize the vocals which, while not deterring as Corey Smothers delivers solid performances as both drummer and vocalist, does create an audible detachment that takes away from the weight some of these songs attempt to convey. This problem is not so prevalent on the acoustic versions of the songs however as their aim seems to be to highlight the vocals due to the stripped down nature of these tracks.
Something if Willing
While you could debate whether to call this an EP, there is something pleasant about what is going on here. The band manages to find a way to create pleasant and emotionally punching melodies that pray on their dynamic ranges all while making everything flow quite nicely. The combination of both electric and acoustic versions of the songs is a lovely take on the EP format and in the end, has the potential to deliver something of substance if willing.
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