Set Fire to Flames

Telegraphs in Negative/Mouths Trapped in Static
/fat cat; 2003/




more info:

In the end of year 2000 and 1 I downloaded a track from the first Set Fire to Flames record, Sings Reign Rebuilder from the Alien8 webpage and I enjoyed the track's light intensity so much that I decided to order the album. I got it about a week later and I can't really describe how I felt when I unwrapped the envelope. I loved the item, black and rusty, with gorgeous pictures, smelling of weird incense, with a scratched match hidden inside. And I loved it almost instantaneously. The idea behind the album, musicians locking themselves in a soon-to-be-demolished building and recording music inspired by the building itself was impressive and the idea of structuring it around speeches by numbered "lying dying bodies" gave a haunting feeling to the album. It is never far away from my bedroom boom box, I love falling asleep to the hazy sounds echoing from it.

So I was excited and frightened when I learnt that there was a new (double) album by SFTF to be released this year. I had seen Sings Reign Rebuilder as the result of a one-time experiment and I didn't think the band would do something else. And they probably shouldn't have. Putting out a double album is a very arduous task. First of all, one can discuss the meaninglessness of double albums: what's the use of releasing two discs that are supposed to follow each other when you can't really listen to the two discs in a row flawlessly ? And anyway, you don't want to release a double album if you don't have two discs worth of good material. And really, even though the unity of place has been maintained, Telegraphs/Mouths... sounds like the work of a cold, egoist band where Sings Reign Rebuilder felt warmly human and discreetly intimate. No more samples, no more lying dying bodies, just improvised music, screeches and "found" sound. So, yes, we can hear the doors creaking, but why the fuck should we care ?? 

Disappointments are never pleasant. But really, I don't think the band could have released something as least as impressive as Sings Reign Rebuilder. It sounded miraculous in the sense that it had thousands of reason to fail. But it worked. Here everything sounds boring and self-indulgent, ideas are stretched and as a result the magic moments that filled Set Fire to Flames' debut album are nowhere to be found.


/apr 1st 2003/