Speakerfire - Audio Alchemy (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Audio Alchemy (2006)


With only two years together and two demos to their name, Speakerfire, with their rock-solid proper debut EP Audio Alchemy, could fool you into thinking they've been at this a lot longer. Buffalo, NY's Speakerfire (or speaker(FIRE) or SPEAKERFIRE or speaker FIRE… make up your minds guys) also have some strong words for the current state of music and this is their audio response. More about that later.

After a short intro, the quartet come roaring at'cha with a sludgy riff over a pushing beat á la In Utero. That would be "Synthetic Shepherd," an angry growling tune that nears metal but lands more in the hard rock category. The breakdown has me less focused on the guitars and more on the surprising synth that rocked me, but soon the song ends with some unpredictable starts and stops.

Although they sport Mars Volta-style artwork and a slightly pretentious track listing and song titles, I would not call Speakerfire a prog band. However, "The Devil's Harvest" does utilize a cool trick of changing up the riff's strong beats, so without actually changing the meter they make it seem like they do. The song's focus is the almost-swung bounce of the melodic-yet-shouted chorus, though it does have a tech-yet-muddy breakdown. After a brief interlude, the more spacey "Lupercalia" slows things down and loses my interest a bit. Closer "Omega" turns thing even more spacey with tons of lilting synth pads before bursting into a slow fuzzy jam very reminiscent of Hum. Not a bad thing, but I really like these guys' uptempo rockers more.

This young band needs to be careful of what opinions they spew on the internet and elsewhere. It was a bit of a turnoff for me, after hearing the record twice with a fairly positive opinion of the group, but then stumbling upon this MySpace rant:

Reality and marketed television, The Internet, News Media, Politics, and even the shitty, uninspired musical trash that most listen to these days all contributes to the dulling of the human senses. And this in turn only creates more drones, unwilling and uninterested in helping to bring this planet back into a harmonious balance.
This came after a detailed track-by-track description of the EP as a concept record about some sort of physical or symbolic end of the world. Whatever, I guess they are pretentious. I still like the music here though. I also found "If you want a fashion show, go to the nearest high school and scream out "Chiodos is here!!" and watch the parade of drones run" in their ‘About Speakerfire' section. Did they just diss their recent tourmates, or am I reading that wrong?

A word of advice: Let your music speak for itself, guys. Don't end up like the Killers thinking you're better than everyone and publicly bashing and feuding with other bands -- it will just make people lose respect for you. Anyway, the music here is well-put together for such a young band, and recommended for trend-dodging listeners looking for spacey and mildly tech hard rock that doesn't succumb to emo/screamo/supremo directions that it could have easily resorted to.