It's been two years since Eisley released the critically acclaimed Combinations and the Like The Actors EP, and quite honestly, we were all ready for something new. Whether on their own accord or that of Reprise Records, the band has compiled a short collection of new songs entitled Fire Kite. Contained within the EP are two "real" tracks, as well as two Garage Band demos.
Right away, the charm and wonder that so aptly characterizes Eisley's music is evident. "Ambulance" begins with vocalist Stacey DuPree's emotional voice woven between the soft keys of a piano, but slowly grows into a tapestry of strings and guitar as she sings. The lyrics of the song are especially poignant, as Stacey earnestly sings, "Send me a redeemer... let me know if I'm gonna be alright..." Next up, "The Valley" again utilizes the band's apparently newfound love of stringed instruments, and also features some spectacular vocalization by the female members of the band.
However, while the aforementioned songs are nearly perfect, Fire Kite loses a bit of its shine with the Garage Band demos. "Away We Go" sounds strangely sped up, and while a well-played piano appears near the middle, the electronic drum beat and synthesizer strings only make the odd song worse (NOTE: This was a glitch. The band has posted a fixed version here). "192 Days" is undoubtedly a better listen, but the fact still remains that it is terribly low quality and, obviously, poorly produced. On one hand, the weird lo-fi aspects of these two songs almost contribute to the magical feel of the band, but on the other hand, one wonders why they were included at all.
Fire Kite is worth the purchase, simply for the first two tracks. They were elaborate and stunning compositions, and skillfully show off Eisley's growing potential. As for the two demos, if nothing else, they give the listener a small taste of the band's anticipated 2010 release. If you're a devoted Eisley fan, the Fire Kite EP is a good buy. Otherwise, just get the first two songs on iTunes, and wait for the full-length to drop next year.- Review date: 10/23/09, written by Garrett DeRossett of Jesusfreakhideout.com
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