Smoke Or Fire - Prehistoric Knife Fight (7")
Release Date: March 16, 2010
Record Label: Fat Wreck Chords
Before they release third full-length LP, Smoke or Fire's two-song 7", Prehistoric Knife Fight, serves as a peek behind the curtain in order for fans to see what direction the bands plans on going in. Despite being released in late 2007, the band's last record feels as if it came out ages ago. While it may have been less direct and more developed when compared to their 2005 effort, Above the City, it's obvious on the two songs included here that the band is trying to go back to pop-punk melodies over hard-edged chords, a la Saves the Day or early-to-mid Against Me.
While the sneak peek doesn't even last five minutes, it is a good idea of what to expect. "Speak Easy" takes its time, in just over two minutes, by displaying the attention to detail in musicianship, as was prevalent on This Sinking Ship. While said aspect is still significant, it appears that there is a bit of a rawer, more head-on approach to the vocals, which make the band sound -- in a polite way -- brattier. "Modesty" does in fact sound like Saves the Day, circa 1999, and keeping that in mind, the sound offers an interesting notion as to what else is to be expected from Smoke or Fire later on this year. The stripped-down production is a welcome change that doesn't warrant any fancy wrapping paper in its presentation -- and in a scene that continues to throw band after band, record after record, name after name at its audience, it can be challenging to not have songs go in one ear and out the other. Thankfully, from the sound of things, some minor retooling in the approach can hint at more bright things to come.