How far across the world can a musical influence go? In most cases, when pop/rock is concerned, if the influencer is somewhere in the US or UK you don’t pose that question. But what if that influence originates somewhere else? Well, both Australia and New Zealand have had their fair share of those influencers (in the more general sense of that term) and the sound of New Zealand’s Flying Nun label spearheaded by The Chills has done its fair share in that respect.
So, why are we mentioning The Chills influence when talking about Fyrefly – an up and coming trio from Cincinnati, Ohio? Because ‘Electric Eyes’, the opening track of Beside the Roses, their latest EP, would fit like a glove in the long-running opus of The Chills. A brilliant track itself but Fyrefly gives it more of a personal look, like a homage that actually works.
What about the other three tunes here on Besides the Roses? It turns out that Fyrefly is trying to present the complete palette of what they like in modern music and that they can do them without a single problem. It seems that multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Andrew Richmond, vocalist Nick Hoelmer and drummer Elijah Staley are telling us that there’s much more that they can do.
‘The King Is Dead,’ on the other hand, sounds like something Kansas or Toto would consider for their forthcoming album. Again, Richmond and the rest of the band have no problem with handling more complex patterns that have a harder edge to them. Finally, ‘Goodbye’ is a fitting ballad that gives a nod to the Southern California sound of the mid-70s with some nifty harmonies bouncing all over the place. A good place at that.
So, it seems Fyrefly is testing their feet in different musical waters here and whatever they pick as their main musical line in the future, they will do really well. Still, personally, ‘Electric Eyes’ impresses the most.