Bright Fires the Houston, Texas based post-hardcore/emo alternative rock band, is back with a brand new EP, entitled “The Scenic Route EP” (Release Date August 6, 2018). In the meantime two singles – “Disarray” and “Forgive, Forget” – taken off the collection, has already been released on Spotify and iTunes. The new recording is an incredibly kinetic EP. On record, CJ Steves (Guitar), Jeff Marshall (Bass), David Michalak (Drums) and Joel Davis (Vocals) has never associated themselves with the terms – calm, motionless, quiet or hushed. Here sudden bursts of energy erupt from already explosive moments during the opening track “Last We Spoke”. Alarming guitars, shooting drums and shivering bass lines contort around Davis’ blistering vocals, making these songs sound like a monstrous tidal wave crashing down on you.
However, it’s the little intricacies like how each melody subtly leads on to the next, or how the songs build their climaxes with a mother-load of chord progressions , or how they maximize their table-flipping breakdowns by slamming on the brakes and then exploding into action.
Across the EP, and especially on “Forgive, Forget”, Bright Fires illustrate their emotional mannerisms, where they can sound so bracing, so cleansing and yet so destructive at the same time, with massive guitar riffs and soaring vocals.
This is an immersive, wildly action-packed journey which expertly sews opposing sounds and contrasting expressions together like no other band has done in years and will hopefully propel them to the lofty success they are so busy earning. “2005” skyrockets with urgent and melodic vocals slapped a cross a fast paced soundscape. Expertly flaunting their catchy hooks and layered harmonies.
There’s a genuine momentum to the Ep, as the band travel from the explosive front end to a latter half that displays a wholly explorative mesh of alternative rock, with complex rhythms and fluid tempo changes, like on the bone-crushing “Disarray”, which bursts into snarling vehemence, and is one of the absolute highlights on this recording.
The almost celestial, “Untitled”, is a beautifully sweet all enveloping song that’s stays surprisingly linear and straightforward throughout. Predictably, Bright Fires’ idea of “linear and straightforward” is far less limiting than for most other bands. Such is the expertise of this band, even when they hold back.
As long as Bright Fires can maintain their sense of artistic freedom and develop at their own pace, then the opportunities for them are endless and one feels that they are on the cusp of making an astounding full-length album. There is no doubt that this EP will show that this band has reached the heights their potential showed them capable of on their previous release.
The keyword here is, emotion. Something that when channeled, has the power to move you in just the right way that it becomes forever etched in who you are. “The Scenic Route EP” is a recording so full of emotion and power that it embeds itself deep into your system and will eventually become a part of you.