Album Review: Fire and Whistle Theory – Take Me Alive (2019 EP)

Three years since the release of their debut EP, Golden Guns in 2016, Brisbane blues rockers Fire and Whistle Theory, have released their sophomore EP Take Me Alive. Featuring a collection of tried and tested crowd favourites and new songs, the band took a live approach to the recording, hoping to capture a raw, genuine and spontaneous sound. It certainly seems to have worked, whilst the end result is somewhat polished, it lacks nothing for energy and verve. 

There isn’t anything particularly groundbreaking about Take Me Out, the band aren’t pushing at the boundaries of their respective genres, there’s been no ripping up of the rule book. But, nor does their need to be. Rather the five piece have delivered an EP that not plays to the band’s strengths, but also offers listeners a tasty slice of blues tinged indie rock. 

Front man Tom Greenwood’s vocals are suitably gritty, textured and whisky soaked throughout. Whilst the guitar work from Keith Vogel and Jordan Locke is also on point across the EP’s five tracks. Drummer Athol Birnie and bassist Mitchell Rosenthal also keep things together nicely. Across each of the tracks, there are little nods towards potential influences, but on the whole the band offer their own take on these tried and tested genres. 

Across each of the tracks there’s something a little different that just seems to capture your attention. “White Lies” just has this great groove and vibe to it, with some brilliant driving guitar work, and a strong vocal performance. “She Wanted Me”, too, is elevated by some particularly tasty guitar work, and some surprising tempo shifts. Based on the intro, you’d be forgiven for thinking the song was going in a completely different direction. 

“Woman”, the band’s most recent single, is perhaps the strongest of the EP’s five tracks. There’s a real swagger to it. With its shifts in tempo and tone, it’s really the sound of a band high on confidence. On record it’s all pretty controlled and tight, but you get the impression that live this one could get pretty hectic real quick. 

“Wolves”, with its “howling” vocals, is a fun addition and again sees the band unafraid to play around with shifts in tempo and style. Finally, title track “Take Me Alive”, brings the collection to a strong conclusion, with another strong vocal performance alongside a driving rhythm. 

https://youtu.be/anlgMP3q76g

Take Me Alive is the sound of a band confident in their abilities, aware of their influences, and unafraid to mix things up when they need to do. It’s a strong offering, with plenty of grit, swagger and style, and packed with songs that you just know will deliver live. 

FOUR STARS (OUT OF FIVE)

Take Me Alive is available now. You can find Fire and Whistle Theory on Facebook and Instagram

Simon Clark

Books Editor. An admirer of songs and reader of books. Simon has a PhD in English and Comparative Literature. All errant apostrophes are his own.

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