The Fire Theft is Jeremy Enigk, William Goldsmith and Nate Mendel (still of the Foo Fighters of course), but ‘The Fire Theft’ isn’t another ‘Diary’ – this is about as far away from Sunny Day Real Estate as you could get without having the trio resort to anti-folk. Enigk’s vocals remain the same – sky-high but dripping with more passion than any of the emo bands that SDRE spawned could ever hope for – but musically ‘The Fire Theft’ is awash with shades of Pink Floyd, The Beach Boys (seriously!), and Jane’s Addiction.
Basically it’s perfect pop-rock, albeit coupled with a level of prog inflences. The likes of ‘Oceans Apart’ and ‘Carry You’ are a little too prog for some tastes, but the stirring strings at the end of the latter track will soon have you forgiving Enigk and co for their obvious love of seventies pomp-rock, as will the piano-led outro to final track ‘Sinatra’. Elsewhere, ‘Summertime’ is as perfect as it’s title suggests – shimmering Brian Wilson-like pop that tugs lightly at the heart without ever quite going for the kill. Some early songs bear an unfortunate resemblance to Savage Garden, but this can be overlooked as a fault; the band are clearly not trying to hide their pop aspirations, and Savage Garden were a decent enough pop act, even if only to your mum (and mum knows best, by the way).
Enigk remarked recently that ‘The Fire Theft’ is “really dark”, but it’s full of more hope than any other debut this reviewer has heard in some time. Yes, this is partially due to the trio’s obvious experience, but it’s also down to the fact that you simply won’t hear another record like this all year – classic pop with a killer twist. Difficult to digest at first it may be, especially for hardcore SDRE fans, but given time you’ll find ‘The Fire Theft’ a most delectable dish.
8Mike Diver's Score