REVIEW DECEMBER 2023

Fatea Magazine - Review by Marc Higgins (some key parts below)

"False Gods" is a superb song, with some dusty distant Americana backing vocals and a touch of the indie Manic Street Preachers on its intense delivery. If this was on a Manics or Stereophonics album then everyone would be playing it and singing it's praises. Just when you think you've got it all figured out, theres a couple of inventive false endings and a raging finale that I'm sure is amazing live.

"Clarity In Dusk" is an emotional but reflective Folk Rock number with strident violin from Steve Marlow contrasting the majestic Floydian guitar flourishes. Dave Carter's sensitive piano on the fade and the almost Prog keyboard strings on the excellent "Eras" shows this is a band overflowing with ideas. "Gone But Not Forgotten" is a pastoral protest song wrapped in an infectious tune and chorus, classic to the last.

“Steve Jones and The Wildfires are an interesting, intelligent band, they can rock like the best of them like a radio-friendly Nickleback, but there is also thought, breadth, and depth to their music. Surely going places if they can get to enough ears”.

Read full review here

 

REVIEW DECEMBER 2023

Review by David Pearson from Spirit of Progressive Rock

"This is the third studio album by the East Northants alternative rock band, featuring frontman Stevie Jones, the main songwriter. With seeds of the songs sown during Covid times, those songs, together with newer full-band ones were finalised at Deadline Studio Leicester in early 2023 with producer Adam Ellis.

Topically the album covers a range of subjects including solace in nature, romance, domestic abuse, reflection on ageing and loss, and the current threat posed to the environment by the rapid overdevelopment of the countryside. Musically it takes you on a journey through a variety of different genres. There’s a raw alt-folk rock honesty (New Model Army, Levellers) but also a melodic Americana influence in the guitar-led songs (Ryan Adams, Tom Petty). And for those of us proggers, maybe even the slightest element of Porcupine Tree and Steven Wilson in some of the more progressive rock moments. In short, it is a strong album and a solid body of work, worth checking out. Solid."

INTERVIEW NOVEMBER 2023

Live, Local and Loud show - Interview and tracks played with Kevin Gaughan Hermitage FM listen from 17.36

REVIEW NOVEMBER 2023

STEVIE JONES And The WILDFIRES-Clarity In Dusk (Wildfire Sessions, WSP0019, CD/DL)
"It seems that Stevie Jones And The Wildfires have been on the local musical landscape for ages. Regular gig-goers will undoubtedly recognise their name from shows around the county (and beyond) but it always felts as if the band were destined for the national stage, well that step-up in class is now here with the band’s third album, Clarity In Dusk.
Perhaps attesting to the band’s vintage, opening track ‘Violet Lane’ is a slow builder. Most bands, keen to make an impression, arrive in a blaze of guitars and thunderous drums, this quintet take the opposite route that attests to The Wildfires slow burn. It’s a track that grows organically adding layers of sound, almost imperceptibly, until you are encased in a ball of sound that leaves you wondering how you got there. That this track (and, indeed, the whole album) has an organic feel should come as no surprise as the seeds of this long player were planted during Covid lockdown when Stevie wrote and released a parred back acoustic record (Come In From The Rain). This album feels very much like an extension of that era and it has a similar earthy feel that speaks of autumnal walks through (quintessentially) English countryside. But make no mistake, this is a rock album played by a band who are very much plugged in and amplified, and the earwormy ‘Come in From the Rain’ has “hit” single written all over it and is screaming out to be put on a Radio 2 playlist.
There’s something of Ray Davies about Stevie’s lyricism and, just like Ray, his words detail the minutiae of modern life and each of the 9 tracks on this album are like mini novellas. That storytelling vibe is most notable on ‘Do Or Die’, a song that details they everyday struggles of life; it’s a story that’s played out thousands of times each day, yet it takes a John Clare, a Morrissey, or a Stevie Jones to find the beauty within the struggle and make it palatable it for mass consumption. With a touch of Billy Bragg ‘Broken Doll’ captures the melodic end of the tuneless one and just like ‘Come In From The Rain’, seems destined for the charts. As a critic, it is my jobs to find fault and pick holes, yet there’s no point of weakness on this record to give me an in and unravel it.
Ensuring things end in a typically bittersweet fashion, final track ‘Gone But Not Forgotten’ marries an upbeat tune with longing lyrics. It’s an old trick, to be sure, but it has rarely been done with the confident swagger displayed here.
It’s time for you to find Clarity In Dusk!"
 
Thank you Alex Novak
 

REVIEW NOVEMBER 2023

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