Light Yourself on Fire – Light Yourself on Fire

Light Yourself on Fire
Light Yourself on Fire

In the era of the compact disc, bands have up to eighty minutes (or more, if you think about the horror of double-albums) in which to make their musical statement. That’s an hour and twenty minutes, the average length of a Hollywood blockbuster. There are artists with large egos and no self-control who can find a myriad of ways to fill all eighty minutes with tedious fluff, and then there are those that can just as easily crank out a quarter-hour’s worth of songs and call it a day. Light Yourself on Fire falls into the latter category. Their eponymous debut EP is not the longest or most interesting record around, but because of its brevity is a much more listenable package than what many other bands in the genre could come up with.

The record begins with “960 AM,” a midtempo rocker with an abrasive main riff reminiscent of Helmet. Much like the record itself, the song does not overstay its welcome; after about a minute and a half it makes way for “Smells Like it Sounds”, which brings to mind Converge and groove-minded hardcore acts such as Unsane. The real meat of the EP, however, is in songs like “Rickshaw” and “4 Blows”, which are as formulaic as the rest of the album, but happen to be a bit catchier and more enjoyable than the rest. “Rickshaw’s” main riff is reminiscent of the material on Converge’s You Fail Me, albeit with a slicker, cleaner production and none of the Converge records’ experimental overtones. “4 Blows” is slower and more abrasive.

The review would be incomplete without mention of the EP’s great production. Instrument separation is very clear, the vocals are balanced and the guitar tone has just enough grit to it to remind the listener that they have a heavy record on. While not the most original music on the planet, Light Yourself on Fire’s debut is short enough to retain one’s interest while holding hope that their next effort will show more progress and innovation.