The Firebird Band 

With Chump. Thursday, December 28, at the Grog Shop.

For the past three years, the Firebird Band has been one of those vaporous, revolving-membership projects that periodically surface and disappear within the indie noise-pop community. As prime mover Chris Broach became increasingly occupied with touring and recording commitments for his main band, Braid, time allotted for the same activities for the Firebird Band were considerably harder to come by, resulting in the "Feel Alright" EP in 1998 and the "New York" 7-inch, as well as a handful of one-off live appearances. With the demise of Braid, Broach finds himself with considerably more time on his hands, and he has poured it into making the Firebird Band a legitimate outfit, rather than a sporadically attended project (which is exactly how Braid came into being). As often happens when a side gig solidifies, not everyone came along for the ride. Since the recording of Firebird's debut full-length, The Setting Sun and Its Satellites, only Broach and guitarist Andy Hawthorne (Pilot in Hiatus) remain for the roadwork. The group has lost bassist Eric Bocek and drummer Tommy Shimenetto and replaced them with Ben Wilson and Steven Lamos, respectively. Where Braid tended toward a more primal grunge-like approach, Firebird tends to be a little more subtle and melodic -- comparisons to the Cure, with manic flecks of the Pixies, are not without support, and it's safe to assume a familiarity with the Dischord family (Fugazi, Lungfish, Shudder to Think) as well. Although there was an appealing edge to Braid's work, sometimes it was all edge. But Broach hasn't forgotten the edge with the Firebird Band; he's merely found the way to polish it without making it sharper.

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