The Library Is on Fire: Halcyon and Surrounding Areas

[29 May 2014]

By Rob Caldwell

In my non-writing life, I work as a librarian. So, even though I wasn’t previously familiar with the Library Is on Fire’s music, I felt an obligation to review this album. They’ve got a catchy name, and a good album title with this release as well. The cover art is nothing to speak of, but the music (which is the most important thing) is sturdy ‘90s-style indie rock—fuzzed-out guitars, hyper beats, and doses of irony. 

Sonic Youth and Smashing Pumpkins are some aural touchstones. My Bloody Valentine is another, especially on “Hey Snowflake”, which happens to be one of the best tracks. There are some nice melodically frenetic guitar sounds and echo-treated vocals on “Sleeping Out Loud”, while the crunchy “1913” is another highlight. They even mix things up a little with the hazy late ‘60s-psych vibe of “Halcyon Daze” and the acoustic “Girl”. I’d like to hear a bit more originality in Halcyon and Surrounding Areas, but the songs are good, concise rock songs, which is always welcome.

Published at: http://www.popmatters.com/pm/review/181882-the-library-is-on-fire-halcyon-and-surrounding-areas/