Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Quest For Fire-S/T CD Review

Quest For Fire? Really? That’s the band name you decided on? I mean why not at least do one of those 12 word names or something with “wolf” in that all the hipsters dig? With a name like this everyone is going to think that you are 1) a group of archeologists doing authentic cro-magnum music, 2) a caveman version of GWAR or 3) a bunch of stoners cranking out fuzz ladened tunes.
Since your album is on Tee Pee Records it is obviously 3.
Moniker aside, Quest For Fire’s self-titled slab is one bodacious piece of work. In this day and age of bands trotting out what they think are throwback sounds and aping bad stereotypes passed down by supposed authoritarians, QfF is a real breath of fresh air. Even though that breath may cause you to fail a drug test.
What makes this album so much better than all the others is this sounds like it could have come out in the early 70’s. Singer Chad Ross sounds like a 2nd generation Amboy Dukes ala “Journey to the Center of Your Mind”. His voice helps weave the tapestry that the rest of the band fills out. The album starts of with “Bison Eyes” a song that would be the byproduct if Josh Homme was born in the early 60’s. Guitarist Andrew Moszynski’s guitar playing propels the band by not playing the same distorted feedback tricks. The band does a nice job of changing tempos and allows “Strange Ways” to borders between a Crazy Horse song and what stoner legend Wino’s definition of stoner music is. For him the meaning is that the music should take you to a place that makes you feel like you are stoned. Mission accomplished. What is remarkable about this song is nearly 8 minute song does not drag at all. “Hawk The Hunts the Walking” unfortunately does and a minute or two should have been trimmed off this near 9-minute opus.
Any review of this band would be best served by mentioning the rhythm section. Drummer Mike Maxymuik and bassist Josh Bauman do a remarkable job in balancing the traditional job of providing a music foundation for the songs and doing some free form jamming of their own. Bauman especially does a nice in making the bass a lead instrument at times.
Quest For Fire’s debut is not merely another slab of 70’s psych/stoner rock. It is shows what is wrong with the milieu of acts that profess themselves to be and how good it should sound when done right.