Fire Show

Saint the Fire Show

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The Fire Show called it quits soon after releasing this, their masterwork, Saint the Fire Show. They gave no specific reason for the breakup at the time, but listening to this album, one can guess that they felt they had pushed their sound to the breaking point, and there was simply no place left to go with it. Their only options were to disband or start repeating themselves, and they boldly chose the former. Jagged post-punk shards, implacable samples, bouncy funk basslines, desperately glowing lyrical imagery -- the Fire Show combined these things, and so much more, without sounding forced or contrived. With Saint the Fire Show they approached perfection by pacing the album in such a way as to always leave you guessing but confused. As a whole, the album has a innate (if fractured) logic and trajectory, and no small amount of credit for this should go to producers Graeme Gibson and Brian Deck (Califone, Red Red Meat). "The Making of Dead Hollow" is a stunning and brave opener, vocalist M. Resplendent's apocalyptic images quivering over a dozen or so false starts before it all gels at around the five-minute mark. "The Rabbit of My Soul Is King of His Ghost" and "Megellan Was a Felon" are Pavement recast as vulnerable instead of snotty, but just as smart. The closer, a dirge-like interpretation of "You Are My Sunshine," is a little hard to stomach unless you're fully on board with the band already, but in light of the Fire Show's demise it makes for fitting epitaph: irony still capable of genuine emotion, conflicting sounds and emotions making sense within the song like it could nowhere else. Saint the Fire Show sits as a strikingly beautiful marker atop the grave of the Fire Show's impressive, yet maybe necessarily small, body of work.

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