By Jeffrey Swager
With an over-abundant electronic scene in Colorado, over-saturated listeners will breathe a sigh of relief when hearing Gravity’s instrument-driven, electro-funk dance party. Combining layered electronic live production with a consistent funk breakbeat throughout the album gives listeners a taste of a DJ-orchestrated album with a creative four-piece band.
Fire Sermon also gives existing and new fans alike a taste of their progressive skills. Starting off the album with a heavily electronic, trip-hop beat is “Breakin Bones.” With guitarist Mark Cooley on vocals and a special guest appearance by Charlie Hine, this opening track could be a theme song for the most progressive car commercial on television (in reference to Phoenix’s recent song on a Mazda commercial).
Synth bass and electronic drum pads give a rich texture to the primarily funk-based compositions. A bigger sound overall, like the one that Gravity hints at in “Breakin Bones,” however, would hook listeners for good.
This is a very high-quality album, thanks to Morningwood Studios’ masterful recording, and the CD captures the band’s obvious skill for compositional experimentation. On the downside, one could make the observation that this is a young band whose first album, though high in quality, is young in sound.
On the upside, however, this gives an exciting introduction into the capabilities of a young group with a unique sound that has a definite place in an ever-growing market of electronic-based bands. Listeners, tip thy hats.