Campfires – Self-Titled EP

Campfires Promo_RingMaster Review

Formed in 2015, Scottish pop punks Campfires are a band which in many ways rose from the ashes of rockers Autumn In Disguise who called it a day two years earlier. From that band, vocalist Mike Hendo, guitarist Stephen Napier, and drummer James Forbes have returned alongside guitarist Yogi McGregor and bassist Craig Donald, and introduced themselves again with one thoroughly enjoyable self-titled EP.

Campfires Artwork_RingMaster ReviewHaving enjoyed success with their previous band through tours and festivals like Download and Sonisphere alone, in the words of Hendo, the band“…all really missed playing live and touring, so we finally got back in a room together and we couldn’t be happier about it. The whole purpose of this new band is to get together as friends, write songs that tell a story and play fun shows. We felt like that was similar to sitting round a camp fire and telling stories – hence the name.” There is an energy and freshness of spirit to the Aberdeen hailing band’s sound which backs that up, like a rediscovery of fun and energy which as much fuels the four tracks making up the vibrant release as the individual prowess and sharp songwriting.

New single Same Streets starts things off, barging rhythms and rosy melodies grabbing ears beside inviting riffs. Hitting a lively stroll within moments, Hendo’s vocals make an additional potent lure backed by other tones within the band. With guitars and bass collude for a feisty and energetic persuasion there is maybe no particular element which delivers a major surprise within the song but, as its breath and energy, the robust and impassioned roar holding ears makes a very pleasing proposition before The Hardest Part swings in with similarly tenacious and emotively loaded enterprise. Arguably even catchier than its predecessor with a good blend of vocals backing Hendo again as the rhythms of Forbes especially grip, the song quickly has feet and voice keenly involved.

Pure Gold follows suit, bounding in with hefty swipes from Forbes and a brooding bassline from Donald as Napier and McGregor spin a magnetic web of sonic enticement around persistently strong vocals. With those rhythms becoming even more boisterous with every twist and explosive rally, the song is a raucous but controlled slice of magnetic pop punk only inspiring a want and intrigue to hear more.

Track by track the EP gets stronger and impresses more, the trend continuing into the outstanding Like A Cancer. It exposes a heavier edge to the band’s lures and more aggression to its attitude early on but soon the forceful coaxing mellows out into a brightly resourceful and thickly welcoming temptation where hooks and melodies almost duel for attention within the excellent contagion. Within each track it is the unpredictable and inventive twists and the addition of unexpected textures which really bring them alive and no more potently than in this final offering.

Actually there is a bonus of an Instrumental to bring the EP to a close, a keenly enjoyable piece but the EP’s meat is elsewhere and very flavoursome. Big surprises are not quite on the menu yet with Campfires but enjoyment is as much a given as the sound of crickets in a moonlit wood.

The Campfires EP is available from January 15th

https://www.facebook.com/campfiresband   https://twitter.com/campfiresband

Pete RingMaster 14/01/2016

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