Quest For Fire - Lights from Paradise
Toronto band Quest for Fire arrive with their second album Lights from Paradise, offering up a tidal wave of stoner rock that seems hewn from another era altogether. Depending on your tolerance for music talent show wannabes or whatever three-minute, gyrating, content-free push into the abyss is currently being offered up in the pop market then a psychedelic rock album might just be the tonic.
Occasionally you might find yourslef a train station, lost in thought and a train starts to rumble by your platform. "That’s interesting, it’s a goods train,"- and for a moment you glance at the unusually-shaped carriages passing by. Eventually your attention wanders elsewhere but then suddenly you notice that the train is still passing by and you think, "Blimey! That’s one long train!" If you’d caught the nameplate on the engine it would have read Quest for Fire.
Tracks show up but rather than dance for you on your doorstep and sod off, Quest for Fire move in, sit down in your living room and make themselves comfortable in the dog's favourite chair. To those schooled in the late 1960s and 1970s this is no bad thing at all. At the three, four minute stage, some tracks are just feeling around, working out where they want to go. This is no retro guilty pleasure, rather a band doing what they want to do right now. Apparently, this means setting a rhythmic template and then laying guitars on top and just going for it. For a long time.
It’s great to hear a band in 2010 use so many guitars. Lots of guitars. As my heart rate slowed to match the pacing I have to confess that I lost myself in the musical currents to the detriment of following the lyrics. For me a comparator would be Wooden Shjips but there’s a different musical styling to Quest for Fire. Whereas Wooden Shjips are a (albeit wonderful) one trick pony of retro musical wig outs Quest for Fire are serving up a musically richer set of tracks that have defined beginnings, middles and ends. They’ve just chosen to space them out, and then some. Lights from Paradise was simply an enjoyable ride. Sometimes that’s enough. But at other times, you’re left wanting something more.