I Would Set Myself on Fire for You - Believes in Patterns (Cover Artwork)

I Would Set Myself on Fire for You

Believes in Patterns (2006)


I Would Set Myself on Fire for You. It's a full sentence, and one that's hard to say with a straight face. It's easy to judge this band and write them off on the name alone, but those who do are missing out on an incredibly original and talented group of musicians.

I Would Set Myself on Fire for You is a 5-piece from Georgia. The instrumentation alone sets the band apart from the rest of the crowd in a tired genre beginning with "s" and rhyming with "Nemo." The group features, in addition to a guitar, bass, drums, a keyboard and synthesizer as well as a viola -- but no microphones during shows. The girl who plays the viola, Lindsey, also contributes a solid amount of vocals to the album, ranging from sweet, melodic singing to screaming alongside Stephen (guitar) and Justin (bass).

Already, the comparisons to Circle Takes the Square are being drawn. The intensity is there, the male/female dynamic is there, the intricate lyrics are there, and the experimental edge is most certainly present and accounted for. There's even a recorded spoken word part, although here, it's an answering machine message. The bands differ in a few important ways, though: While CTTS relies on keyboard/synth work and slight guitar to draw out their atmospheric interludes, IWSMOFFY fully utilize the viola in beautiful, sprawling arrangements -- a pleasant respite from bands who fail to realize their gimmick instrument's full potential. Believes in Patterns includes the keyboard and synthesizer, but it's never overwhelming. IWSMOFFY's instrumentals tend to hold your attention better, too, with the possible exception of "#," a song I consider to be one of the album's few flaws.

Standout tracks include "Three," a re-recording of a song ("The First Word That Comes to Mind") from their demo, as well as opening track "Twelve." "So This Is Our Home" is a sharp contrast from the rest of the album; the calming, softly sung lyrics almost recall Brand New, as strange as it feels to write this.

A few of the tracks, such as "Seven," feature a saxophone played quite adeptly to add to the song's atmosphere, and all feature great talent and technical ability. This release won't be easy to find, but it's a welcome addition to a collection featuring Circle Takes the Square, Envy, Neil Perry, and Saetia, to name a few. These comparisons don't do full justice to the band, though -- I Would Set Myself on Fire for You is in a class of their own. Pay close attention to them.

Song Twelve