Comets On Fire

THEN: Released in the not too distant past of 2004, you could have been forgiven for thinking that Comets On Fire had been banging out this bruising musical onslaught for many moons. With two low-key releases they had gained a credible reputation which perhaps was due to their youthful energy and driving riffs, rather than the lack of tight leather trousers.

Rock music at this early point of the 21st century had also gained a resurgence and was appealing to a more mainstream audience, not that this had an effect on San Francisco-based band. With a traditional backbone of 60/70s rock music, their sound was enhanced in my opinion by an urgency and aggression that pushed them into a grey area and did limit them from a larger audience.

NOW: After numerous listens throughout the years I still find the songs only vaguely familiar; this is both a blessing and a curse. The freshness, not necessarily originality, makes each song stand up and be heard, but yet I can never recognise a track instantly nor mange to hum along. Maybe this is due to the looseness of structure or the lack of a basic repetitive beat which allows you to simply lock in and rock out! The stand-out track is Wild Whiskey, which is an instrumental that allows the instruments some breathing space; this does not mean I that I would prefer an instrumental album because the passionate cry of Ethan Miller generally gives the sound added impact. Still, the impression I was left with from this my first introduction to the band is that I want to witness them live, where I believe they would be in their element.

SUB POP SAYS: "Flag-bearers of modern psychedelia"

KILLER TRACK: Wild Whiskey

NEXT: 2005 - Low - The Great Destroyer