Tall Firs CD review by Luc Rodgers
Apr 17, 2008, 17:04
TALL FIRS Too Old to Die Young CD
Like a firecracker in a jar, Brooklyn's Tall Firs can be held in your hand. The violence rumbling deep down is heard and celebrated more so than escaped. Started while Aaron Mullan (guitar/vocals) and Dave Mies (more guitar/vocals) were wee school kids in Annapolis, Maryland in 1990, they plodded on and finally landed a deal with Thurston Moore's Ecstatic Peace! label in 2001. The uncanny likeness of Mullan's vocals to Moore's own may have had a say in the decision, sure, but the strength of the songs themselves had everything else to do with it.
The overall feel is eerily reminiscent of Sonic Youth's Daydream Nation while maintaining its own dark, lazy feel. “So Messed Up” introduces us to this new set of songs and lays down the mood of the cuts to follow. The rolling and rollicking of drummer Ryan Sawyer pushes everything forward as Mullan comforts “We are now too old to die young.” Thank god.
Later on, “Hairdo” rides on the rim and reeks of 90's indie rock without so much as tipping a hat to show its thanks. Everything seems fresh and new despite this, which, in turn, gives more weight to the words and music. Also, a sense a familiarity lowers the danger level, making it easier to burrow into your brain and imagine yourself walking with a new love with a fresh bag of drugs on the way to the park for a lovely day of sunshine and philosophizing. A skip in the step and a smile and a hug holds you close but the beard and foul breath keep it from lasting too long as it delves, sadly, into “Good Intentions.” A reassuring, “Everything is in the past/Good intentions never last,” sits with the listener and together they brood.
Through “Loveless,” “Hippies,” and closer, “Secrets and Lies,” a jazz freak-out seems likely at any time. Skirting the edge, these boys still make it easy to tap your foot and smile while maintaining their ever-surrounding cloud of “oh shit.” It is this that keeps Too Oldâ€¦ interesting and the ears cocked. The Tall Firs' ability to show their power without leaving bruises and scars is truly welcome and wonderful.
Through their talent and inventiveness, Tall Firs are sure to make a splash with this sophomore effort. Their patience insures that their stay is not short-lived while the musicianship and inventiveness with such a few instruments proves that it will only get better from here. [Ecstatic Peace!]