Red Fire Ant – Red Fire Ant EP – 96%

Red Fire Ant are a post-rock band from France who just released their first EP earlier this year. Unfortunately the band doesn’t have a bandcamp page which is a shame because I find this 4-track 28 minute EP to be downright fantastic.

The album kicks off with an absurd amount of energy and intensity with “Joel Barrish,” as rich, thick guitar tones chug along while drumming steadily intensifies. The song has a real sense of purpose and full of life. It’s intensity is not overpowering but it’s also far from what you’d consider beautiful. With an interesting curveball thrown into the mix about three and half minutes in this song has drawn me into the EP like no other opener. It didn’t fool around with a slow meddling intro, guitars didn’t bother ramping up and the intensity only drops for a few seconds at a time. This track shoots right out of the gate and goes flat-out until it crosses the finish line.

The next track however, “Bruce Nolan” switches it up by taking the pacing down three notches. Just a ridiculously spacious track that shows the sheer size of the soundstage of this EP. Have I mentioned how good the technical side of this EP is yet? The mixing and mastering are about as perfect as it gets and you can really tell that someone who knew what they were doing behind the soundboard took their time on this release. Drums are nice and airy with the perfect amount of bass, cymbal crashes have just the right amount of echo to them and none of the instruments fight for dominance in the mix. The guitar layering at the end of this track is simply brilliant and left me head over heals wanting another 5 minutes of this track.

“Fletcher Reed” opens with a more ambient relaxed vibe that tapers off as a high-pitched clean guitar flutters around before progressing into a catchy layered vibe, persisting gaining in intensity. There is a short riff in this track that is just ridiculous on all levels. Drumming is masterful as usual, Red Fire Ant’s drummer knows exactly when to utilize his fills and when to ride the cymbals. This track pushes a giant wall of sound to absolute peak levels that I’m not sure they could have even fit one more layer in the mix.

The album comes to a close with “Walter Sparrow,” a nearly 10 minute track. A couple of guitar layers mettle around while the drum work sets the pace at a moody level. That is until the track goes full-blown mental about three minutes in with a flurry of breakneck riffs. Unfortunately that intensity doesn’t last too long as the album edges back down with some electronic drone before rediscovering itself as drumming takes spotlight as the noise levels creep back up. The track closes out the album with a few final minutes of melodic and catchy post-rock that my imagination gets lost in before abruptly coming to an end.

Honestly I’m blown away by the quality of this EP. I wish that all smaller post-rock releases could be of this quality. Its simply superb from a technical standpoint. I can’t think of a single fault with this effort. It simply astounds me that this band only has 24 “likes” on facebook as of this writing. This is a band waiting to be discovered by a genre that they have all the right tools to dominate in given time. Red Fire Ant have entered the post-rock fray with an amazing effort. These guys NEED to make more music because this is the most promising EP I have heard all year. This is a must listen to EP. 8-29-12

Streaming available at Red Fire Ant’s Myspace page:

Downloading available here (third party site):