Forest Fire - Steal Things! (Cover Artwork)

Forest Fire

Forest Fire: Steal Things!Steal Things! (2006)

Reviewer Rating: 3.5

Contributed by: BJRBJR
(others by this writer | submit your own)

When a young band gets attention in the music industry nowadays, it is usually for their prodigious guitar skills that tend to include outlandish time signature changes (the Fall of Troy) and insane shredding (Protest the Hero). While many young bands try to separate themselves from genre distinctio.

When a young band gets attention in the music industry nowadays, it is usually for their prodigious guitar skills that tend to include outlandish time signature changes (the Fall of Troy) and insane shredding (Protest the Hero). While many young bands try to separate themselves from genre distinctions by creating a sound that is extremely inventive and has very few derivatives, Forest Fire took the hardcore and ska elements of the music they love and forged a sound that is theirs. Forest Fire has drawn comparisons to Gorilla Biscuits, Minor Threat, and some of their contemporary ska hybrids Against All Authority and the Suicide Machines.

What makes people respect Forest Fire even more than other bands is their D.I.Y. attitude and the way they conduct themselves:

Fact 1: They did their CD in their drummer's basement, bassist's basement, and guitarist's garage with their guitarist mixing and recording them.

Fact 2: Their guitarist and singer did the artwork for their album.

Fact 3: Forest Fire wants to "share the love" (and I quote from the insert): "Thanks for burning your friend a copy of our CD, do it ten more times. Spread the word."

This kind of attitude has lead Forest Fire to get a reputation as a band who will play everywhere in front of anyone, basement, outdoor, and club shows alike.

Now on to the review. The CD starts with a very Bomb the Music Industry!-esque track called "Fuck Synth Bands," which is a short song that is ironically constructed around a synthesizer. The only other time the synthesizer is used on this album is on a clever song called "Pimp Your Ride" that begins with a funny sound clip and roars into a fast and catchy song that is easy to like. The synthesizer is used to produce an almost Aquabats effect, which will no doubt be explored in their future material. Though it is important to include that Forest Fire does not use synthesizers live, this reviewer highly recommends that they should and that it would help to improve their live shows by adding something new and fresh.

I think that it should be mentioned that there are two main vocalists in Forest Fire: Erik is the lead singer who sings on most of the songs, and Chris plays bass and does some vocals on this CD. Erik's vocal stylings are comparable to the delivery of Ian Mackaye paired with the screaming of Jason Navarro of the Suicide Machines. Chris on the other hand sounds like a snottier Ben Weasel and tends to sing on the band's more ska-oriented comedy pop-punk songs. It seems to be that Erik tends to be focused around the more serious songs like "Self Deprecation," which includes:

We have no need to be enemies / You're instigating every bit / Criticize and ostracize / Where do we go with it / What happened to the scene unity you preached / In all of your fucking songs / One scene this ones for us for our friends for all of us / You're a fucking joke!!!!!!!!!!!
While Chris sings songs like "Pop Punk:"
This is where we sing about our favorite bands / Blink-182 and Simple Plan, Good Charlotte / They almost can steal our vote for our favorite band!!!
Other important songs on this record include "Rice Patty," about local scene celebrity Pat Rice who attends almost every local show of note and whose opinion is cherished above all who come to a show. This song's catchy hardcore sing-along chorus and pairing of Chris's and Erik's vocals make this song fun to see and listen to. Another notable one is "No Friends," which goes to prove that when Erik and Chris are paired on a track that it leads to another catchy chorus. "Suppository Depository" is a short song that epitomizes Forest Fire: fast and fun. "Brandon Hatfield" and "Fast Food Economy" show off guitarist Matt Kursmark's riffing and how he turns the former (a cover of a song that he recorded with more traditional ska band the Pinstripes) into a true Forest Fire song. It probably doesn't need to be mentioned that the drumming is more than solid, as it doesn't really stand out but helps to carry the album throughout without stopping a beat. The drums pound and crash with great intensity and the beat stays steady on the ska songs.

What tarnishes this CD for me is the last 3 songs, which really drag the CD out. Having followed this band for a while I know that these are their three oldest songs ("Pop Punk," "I Love Alaska," and "Diversity Day") and they have distanced themselves stylistically and technically at this point. I know that a band's first songs have a special place in their hearts, but Forest Fire has to drop the baggage and record songs that are up to par with their live performance. I have seen them twice in the past two months and Erik really gets into the harder songs and they seem to play less of the ska songs.

I think that most will agree with me when they say that Forest Fire should stick to the formula that lead to the creation of songs like "Pimp Your Ride," "Rice Patty," "Self Deprecation," and "Suppository Depository." Those songs are getting better and better live and are sweet recorded. Keep up the good work and make Cincinnati proud!!!


People who liked this also liked:
Nancy - The Fear of Missing OutSet Your Goals - Mutiny!Say Anything - ...Is a Real Boy [reissue]The Lawrence Arms - The Greatest Story Ever ToldModern Life Is War - WitnessKid Dynamite - Kid DynamiteTradition - No HomePolar Bear Club - The Redder, The BetterBlack Tie Bombers - Eternal Happiness and Good HealthMeans - Sending You Strength

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Anonymous (June 28, 2006)

casey, i love you. in a platonic sense. keep it up man.

nate joseph.

jun (June 26, 2006)

i also think you guys should tour with bandcamp, theyre the fucking rock.

jun (June 26, 2006)

i didnt have a problem with the song placement, the only thing that really got to me is the high treble and low bass. i think bass needed to be mixed louder and less highs on the hi hat/cymbals/distortion of the guitar.

you guys kind of remind me of the temptations, or a young dylan.

good job dirtbags, BJs all around.


Anonymous (June 25, 2006)
Anonymous (June 25, 2006)

I'm glad we aren't douchebags, that would leave for much of an unpleasent feeling all the time...although very refreshing for the douche-bagger.

-Casey, FF

BJR (June 24, 2006)

Erik, I see a Gorilla Biscuits viceralness in your vocal style and the delivery similar to Ian Mackaye in Minor Threat but more often of Embrace. The GB isn't really in the style of music but some of the stuff (like Suicide Machines) is probably influenced by it as well.

ZDP (June 24, 2006)

Oh, and what's wrong with playing as many shows as we possibly can and not being picky about where they are? Last time I checked, I still had fun playing shows, and therefore its something I'll do whenever or wherever I can!

ZDP (June 24, 2006)


I thought your comment was easily the most hilarious description of us ever. And honestly, I don't really see the Gorilla Biscuits influence in our stuff at all either.

But about that NOFX 7" you speak of, is that the one with "Thalydimide Child" on it? If so, ouch! A big hilarious ouch!

-Erik, FF

Anonymous (June 24, 2006)

Ive been wearing those fucking hot plaid shorts every day for like 2 months now. I only change for work, where i have to wear long pants. Hell yeah.


drewcifer (June 24, 2006)

I call shenanigans on the gorilla biscuits/minor threat name check, a more apt comparison would be the early nofx 7 inch if it was chirpishly irritating and much more shut-off-right-now-able instead of humorously endearing. Sometimes when a band will play anywhere it's for a reason.

Dante3000 (June 24, 2006)

This band promotes thievieriness. Until we can all afford decent cars I can't see stealing.

Anyhow, this sounds interesting but they lose points for the guys in the band not posting like total douchebags. C'mon if you want fans you need to get the rockstar ego rolling.
P.S. This band apparently likes basements and garages...Of which I have niether. You think you're better than me, huh? Fucking garage owner.

SilentStorms (June 24, 2006)


ZDP thanks for actually posting back, that shows you are actually active in the punk rock community. Holleratchya!

SilentStorms (June 24, 2006)

It does help. Thanx!

burningfeeetman (June 24, 2006)

Apparently this band really enjoys volleyball.

Also, they only have 28 friends and no music.

ZDP (June 24, 2006)

Hey SilentStorms, I don't know if this makes the line ANY better for you, but it should appear more like this:

"They almost can/steal our vote for favorite band"

Anyway, thanks in advance to anyone who listens to this, even if you hate it!

Plus, I think it's funny that everyone in the band agrees with the reviewer that the track sequence is the worst part of the album. We were pressed for time!

-Erik, FF

chokingvictim (June 24, 2006)

It's good, but where's the ska?

chokingvictim (June 24, 2006)

This sounds promising. I'll download some of their songs off of their myspace, but the music just doesn't seem appropriate as I await LSD to take effect.

SilentStorms (June 23, 2006)

This doesn't sound terrible, but I'm past the ska stage. And for christ's sake, "They almost can steal our vote for our favorite band!!!" that's just shitty lyrics. That doesn't make any fucking sense!!! Pass. Though I do respect the DIY ethics.

BJR (June 23, 2006)

Shit I don't know what I was thinking:


skaboom (June 23, 2006)

This sounds like something I'd like a lot. Can someone post the correct link to their myspace?

R3venge_Therapy (June 23, 2006)

I could spot Chris's shorts from a mile away.

Anonymous (June 23, 2006)

I didn't mean to only post negativity. I do love this album whole-heartedly and am very proud to be a part of it. We have come a long way from doing nothing to playing with the likes of Mustard Plug, BTMI, and Latterman. There are tracks that drag but for the most part this album doesn't really let up.

Anonymous (June 23, 2006)

I agree with the statement of the dragging at the end of the album. Those three songs aren't my favorite and we definitely have distanced ourselves from those songs especially with our three new ones which are not on the album. The next album should be way more cohesive.

-Casey, FF

Anonymous (June 23, 2006)

"...Bomb the Music Industry!-esque track..."

ah! let the allusions begin!

(side note: this shit really pisses me off. and i know its immature to say it, but whatever)

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