Wasabi Fire Alarm formed early 2018, and is made up of Sue Egypt on vocals, D.Ni.L on guitar, keys, backing vocals and production, Al on bass, and Mike on drums. The debut album, “Two Fingers In a ‘V’” was released on CD and digital download formats, on the 26th of June 2018, and is also available to purchase from the band’s website store. With its dark jangly guitars, eclectic vocals, and unconventional melodies, this album is a world where there’s something unexpected around every corner. You can’t liken it to music by any one other band.
The elusive female vocal tactics call to mind one type of band, while the artful guitar riffs make you think of another type of band. Wasabi Fire Alarm is one of those bands that are more than the sum of its parts and greater than the average of its influences.
The songs on “Two Fingers In a ‘V’” are mesmerizing and chilling, fragile and strong; the guitars and vocals are bipolar, moving in contrast without warning between poignant and aggression. This is a work of indie art that simply cannot be properly explained, as it is original in every sense of the word. It leaves an emotional imprint that few albums ever can.
The songs usually start in a slow, icy crawl, with chilling riffs, and sweetly sung vocals. They are delivered in a way that is both sinister and beautiful, just as the music is behind them, and they only add to the emotional impact of every track. At some point the songs rise up out of their quiet into a massive roar during the track’s most emotive moments, which is followed suit by growling male vocal interludes.
Wasabi Fire Alarm uses this quiet to loud dynamic to perfection. Propelled by Mike’s always perfectly placed drum hits, Al’s rumbling bass lines, and D.Ni.L’s absolutely beautiful guitar work, it is truly something to marvel at every time you hear it, regardless of how many times you will have listened to this record.
Sue Egypt’s vocals are arguably the most important part of these songs, as they are far removed from the conventional popular music phrasing, and quickly draw attention to the tunes. From the moment the title track kicks off the album, the songs encapsulate everything that Wasabi Fire Alarm are about, big guitars, loud and quiet moments, an excellent math type rhythm section, anguished, melodic and epic vocals.
The more I listened to the album, the more impressed I became with its construction and production. Plus the focus on narrative story telling in the lyrics pleased me no end. Tracks that took my breath away include: the jangly “New Start”; the eerie slow-burn of “Numb”; the guitar crunch and harmony of “Endured”, as well as “Not Whole Truth”; the syncopated bass drive and overdriven guitar riffs of “Shake That Bunny Tail”, and finally the piano-induced lament of “Wrong”, where Sue Egypt’s voice reaches the apex of sublime. I doubt you could ever write a better song to match her silky vocal cords.
The atmosphere and dizzying soundscapes these songs create are captivating and powerful, making the album truly stand on its own ground. As each song peaks, it strikes like lightning to fill the empty spaces within your mind. And when you’re done with listening to the album, Wasabi Fire Alarm are not done with you – they will haunt your psyche like wayward spirits for days on end…until you press replay.