This is a review of "Stolen Fire" recorded by Civil Protection. The review was written by Cat Keller in 2013.
Yorkshire based Instrumental rock quintet, Civil Protection, released their beautifully named debut album this month, 'Stolen Fire' and quite frankly, this release has diverted my taste back into the post-rock scene.
There are so many different elements to this album and with a good structure throughout, It ticks all the right boxes. I like the way the first track 'Strike The Match, Light The Fuse' boils your blood and crescendos to the punch, effortlessly gliding into the second track, 'My Memories Will Be Part of The Sky'. Whoever came up with the names for these tracks, knows exactly what they're talking about and they fit well with the sounds.
The first half of the release has a certain level of elegance to it. It's not too loud and thrashy, it's relativity calm. Yes there are sections where it blows your ears off, especially at the beginning of 'My Memories Will Be Part of The Sky' but it works. Bassy riffs in fourth track 'Many Moons Ago' creates a vibration which runs through the whole body. Although the bass is key in the middle of this track, it doesn't over power, the composition is level and all the sounds merge into one, to which the vocals towards the end add that extra bite.
Fifth track 'Section 47' is a little bit of a change from the rest of the album. Integrating loops of computerised drum beats creating a 'break-beat' feel to the next track 'From The Parish To The Pavement', it's definitely an eye opener. This release has suddenly become not just a debut, but a debut of excitement and thrill. Yet again, I will stress about the production.'Stolen Fire' has taken time to create such a debut; that time and effort has for sure paid off.
The second half to the album is a complete contrast, the elegance and grace has somewhat been destroyed, and thunder has been replaced. Each track in the first half have been working towards the second. Building up in tension, allowing us as a listener to feel at ease with the release, to then be catapulted into a new dimension of noise. Seventh track 'Redrawn' is horrifyingly good as it builds up to a sudden roaring crescendo. This is a track to certainly blow your mind especially with the slow diminuendo spinning right onto the next track, 'Monedula', which regains the elegance from the first half of the release. It's beautiful, absolutely beautiful. So many emotions are felt. With it's melancholic nature it's sounds ripple in and out. It's place within the album is spot on. Finishing off with 'Stolen Fire' the nature to the album is reflected within this track. What a way to conclude.
'Stolen Fire' is bloody amazing. There isn't anything I can fault it on. Which is rare. Sometimes Instrumental rock can sound samey...However, after repeated listens this isn't the case. This is a debut of sheer excellence. Its beauty captivating, its diversions memorising. It is consistency impeccable. Could this be a start of something big? It has a definite potential to be so.
Civil Protection are to play the Fox and Newt on Saturday (26th October) I urge you to go. The acts on the bill are some of the best Post-rock and Instrumental rock bands around today and I'm sure Bad Owl won't disappoint.