10 Paces, Fire is a local band made up by young, Milwaukee-bred musicians Jon Taglienti (Bass), Andy Wambach (lead vocals, guitar), Todd Johnson (lead guitar) and Jeremy Treuden (drums). Already on their 4th EP release in three years, this band fills a niche in Milwaukee’s music scene that is a bit more “underground” if you will, emotional hardcore. In fact, they could be categorized into many different genres as was apparent after I listened to their latest release, “Lakes Refract & Lakes Reflect”. This is my first time writing about a band that I have not yet seen live so this was a chance for me to challenge my music-journalism knowledge…
While 10 Paces, Fire at first listen is easy to peg as emo due to Wambach’s striking vocal similarity to such frontmen as Patrick Stump (Fallout Boy) and Chris Conley (Saves the Day), their style merges with more experimental post/math-rock, the diversity displayed well on “Lakes Refract & Lakes Reflect”. The EP was released in December 2011 and while there are times that you can hear the production quality could be a bit better, it’s enjoyable nonetheless & those little nuances remind us that this is local, independent music.
My personal favorite off the release, “62”, is a jam that displays Wambach’s vocals the best in my opinion. A little early Fallout Boy, a bit Jimmy Eat World, combined with an experimental edge reminiscent of Moonlit Sailor, it’s the most “pop” of the EP, while still maintaining that indie vibe so that you don’t feel guilty for enjoying it. The snarky, angsty lyrics are sometimes screamed but Wambach’s voice can handle it, never sounding strained, holding just the right amount of emotion.
“Wahl & Boates” starts off sort of dreamy but about a minute & 30 seconds in, the drums come in strong, transitioning into the trippy guitar melodies that occupy most of the song. Like most of the release, this song jumps to different moods & tempos several times and keeps you interested.
This progressive style is also evidenced on “You Used to Be Mel Clark”, a song with reflective lyrics, focused on better times past. The vocals capture the nostalgia behind the words, however almost the entire last two minutes of the song strips them away to reveal the instruments and the talent of the band members playing them. It almost feels as though that whole section is abstract & absent-minded, allowing the listener to make up a story behind the song and get lost in the music.
All in all, “Lakes Refract & Lakes Reflect” is worth picking up so check out 10pacesfire.bandcamp.com to download this and any of their other releases. I’m personally looking forward to seeing 10 Paces, Fire play live in the very near future and as always stay tuned to localplaylist.com for any upcoming show dates!