Quest for Fire - Quest for FIre (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Quest for Fire

Quest for FIre (2009)

Tee Pee

Psychedelic music is split into two major categories: There's the garage-psych purists who've erected monoliths to 13th Floor Elevators; and then there's the folk who enjoyed what Pink Floyd started to do with atmospherics. The Deadly Snakes were the first sort; Quest for Fire, which features two Deadly Snakes members, is more of the latter.

And so, we have another band to add to the growing ranks of the "Psychedelic Americana Blues Stomp Revival." And while Quest for Fire comes roaring out of the gate with ghostly vocals and a furious tempo on "Bison Eyes," the album follows a concept that's been played out a bit. "Strange Waves" plods on through a lazy rolling tempo that hasn't found its sea legs yet, and "The Hawk That Hunts the Walking" is a slow burn that builds over eight minutes, showing off some trippy guitar tricks in the middle. And somehow, it feels like this record might have been written before. And no, it's not quite fair to say "Oh man, I would have loved this album if I had heard it before the last Dead Meadow," but well, sometimes it's the straw that breaks the camel's back.

That's not to discredit songs like "I've Been Trying to Leave" or "Next to the Fire." Both of them exhibit a strong punch in the way the guitars hit into each other and the cymbals crash around them. But it's clear that no matter how much originality Quest for Fire is conjuring in their bathtub laboratory, there are a few other bands around who are taking the same route. And sometimes, just sometimes, it feels like the road might be getting a little crowded.