After The Fire - AT2F

Published Sunday 19th November 2006
After The Fire - AT2F
After The Fire - AT2F

RATING 7 7 7 7 7 7 7
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 21286-11896
LABEL: Independent

Reviewed by Mike Rimmer

In the late '70s and early '80s After The Fire were signed to CBS Records and recorded three albums for the label. Unfortunately after a couple of minor hits in 1979, they struggled to find further chart placings. In 1982 after their version of 'Der Kommissar' failed to hit the British top 40, the band took a break from touring to record these demos for what would be their next album. However, the band split at the end of '82 so 'AT2F' was never recorded properly. This album is a work in progress with rough demos rather than the hi-tech production associated with their albums. At the heart of the problems was After The Fire's musical direction with keyboardist Pete Banks interested in capitalising on the experimental synth sounds of the band (it was the '80s after all!) whilst singer Andy Piercy wanted to take things into a more Springsteenesque direction. The upshot is a mixed bag that leaves a lot of what ifs? hanging in the air. The opening "Young Love" is catchy enough and I love the vocal interplay between Piercy and Banks on "Step By Step". Always known for their instrumentals, "1984-F" is an update of the popular "1980F" and "Cariba" highlights what a great synth player Pete Banks was/is. A lot of this material has a brooding feel and the overall recording is less upbeat and positive than previous recordings, perhaps reflecting the band's exhausted state of mind. Interestingly you get a version of Leiber & Stoller's "Stand By Me" which the band had recorded as a potential single but were unhappy with the results. Overall, if you bear in mind that this is simply an interesting curio with patchy sound quality, it'll appeal to established fans of the band who wondered what might have happened next.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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