Independent Spotlight is a continuing series on Stewart’s blog. The series revolves around independent artists and bands sending their music to Brett to review. No band is promised a positive review, and all music is reviewed honestly in an effort to better independent music.
In this review, I’m going to be taking a look at the band 1FM and their debut EP, ‘Burning Bridges.’ The release is accompanied by some modest words from the band in the liners. Essentially, they’re three industry veterans who got together to record some fun music. The Philadelphia-based band put out the album entirely independently, a refreshing step toward creative control in their music. How do the five songs stack up?
Immediately, the production quality of the band’s work is evident. ‘Bury Me’ cascaded through my studio’s monitors with rocking grace and elegance. The mix is perfect; tight drums, eclectic guitars, and powerhouse vocals explode out of your speakers. They’re no doubt a rock act, but they have some pop sensibility. ‘Bury Me’ is infectiously catchy and well-structured. In particular, the thundering percussion is excellent in its creation of a dramatic and dire soundscape.
‘Here I Am’ hits even harder than ‘Bury Me.’ It’s a track that dabbles with some hard rock and metal tendencies, a stark contrast from the previous track. The lyrics aren’t bad and the chorus is actually quite good. They’re not memorable, though. The lyricism has a bit of trouble keeping up with the intense musical prowess of the group. The following track, ‘Dear Son (Remember Me,) makes up for some of that lack of meaningfulness. This fatherly rock ballad is well-written and poignant.
‘Eye of the Storm’ is another rocker, an upbeat romp that delves into those pop influences similar to ‘Bury Me.’ I vastly prefer the band in performances like this in comparison to the harder style in ‘Here I Am.’ Fortunately, the band ends on the strongest note possible: ‘All I Need.’ This haunting piano-driven tune is the redeeming track of the collection - it’s superb.
‘Burning Bridges’ is a remarkably good debut effort. It could have been a tad tighter with the exclusion of the weakest link, ‘Here I Am,’ but with that said, it isn’t a very weak link to begin with. This effort gives 1FM a lot of room to grow; the talent is there in abundance. I hope their sound matures a tad in the future, as well. They align with bands that tend to appeal to a younger audience. (Think - Wombats, Fall Out Boy, etc.) I’d love to see them tackle some more purposeful themes. For now, this is certainly a good stepping stone.
Check them out online: