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Fiery rock, if not altogether new

New London Fire - I Sing The Body Holographic
(Eyeball Records)
3 stars (out of 5 stars)
Reviewed: Dec. 19, 2006
New London Fire

Review by Tony Bonyata

Led by Sleep Station's frontman Dave Debiak, New London Fire's full-length debut I Sing The Body Holographic builds on the subdued indie-rock of his former band and adds in not only more emotion and musical texture, but also a plethora of keyboards to this decidedly more poppy collection of songs. The band's name was originally coined by My Chemical Romance's bassist Mikey Way for one of his own aborted side projects, and while not altogether new Debiak's band does manage to light enough fires to keep things interesting for the duration of this forty-five minute set.

From the saccharine '80s tinged synthesizers of the uptempo title track to the lilting piano that graces the dark balladry of "Nadine" to the stout organ that helps fuel the driving rock of the opening track "Different," it's the keyboard parts that prove to be an essential ingredient in this mix of polished pop and edgy guitar rock with often dark, unorthodox lyrical imagery of ghosts, killers and prostitutes that lurk on even some of the more lighter musical moments.

For the dozen songs featured the New Jersey quartet blends themes, tempos and numbers that rely heavily on both pop sensibilities and electronic atmosphere into a rather pleasing debut full-length. And while their mix of shoe-gazing alt-rock, restrained emo tendencies and cheesy '80s synth-rockers probably shouldn't work as well it does, with strong melodies, challenging lyrics on both ballads and rockers and just enough muscle, courtesy of Jonathan Lam's sinewy guitar, New London Fire manages to successfully crossbreed a few different styles into an interesting, if not brand new, musical concoction.

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