The Phantom Tollbooth

Swings and Roundabouts
Artist: Fire Fly
Label: UK indie
Length: 5 tracks/25.19

Derbyshire based Fire Fly likes atmospheric music. Through this, their first recording, they build up a constantly dark mood -- the combination of the eastern sounds emanating from their keyboards and guest musician Kevin Brown's saxophone on "Crowded Room" is spine-tingling -- and allow the vocals to ride clearly on top of the musical landscape.

Musically, there are elements of Radiohead and Smashing Pumpkins. The band is all experienced musicians, and this shows in the tight rhythm section and unusual arrangements. The "demo" nature of this recording shows through though, and the songs don't quite have the sparkle that would really make them stand out.

An interesting venture--and one which shows a lot of promise--Fire Fly's future should be an interesting one to watch.

James Stewart 9/24/99