Red Nightfall’s About section on their Facebook page describes them simply as “an indie rock music quartet from Toronto”. There’s something about the simplicity and directness I like—it sets me up for the music and reassures me that this is a no bullshit band.
Late in the Fever is the band’s second release, their first being a self-titled LP in October of 2011. This time around, the band decided to put out an EP of five songs—possibly to stave off some of the criticism their first release drew. Late in the Fever feels like the perfect length for what it is. The tracks blend smoothly together, but cut off before that could become repetitive. It’s a sign of maturation when you know it’s time to stop.
“Culled in Dye” starts out with a slow build, creating a dark and shadowy ambiance before the drums and keyboard anxiously break through. The vocals match this emotion, a deep-throated but restrained sound that struggles to break out.
“Chant” meets “Culled in the Dye” for ambience, but takes on a melancholy rather than anxious tone. When Addison Siemko gets to the chorus, he really shows off what he’s capable of doing vocally and the song takes on a powerful twist that contrasts heavily with how it opens.
Starting out similarly to “Culled in the Dye” and “Chant,” “Temple” begins slowly. The vocals incrementally up the tension and emotion in the song and the guitar keeps pace before going on a frantic riff all its own.
“Victorian Engineers” finally breaks out of Red Nightfall’s intro pattern, plunging directly into a steady and punchy drumbeat with the vocals strong from the first note. The song feels much more rock-driven than the rest of the EP because of its harsher instrumentation on the drums and guitar. It comes as a well-timed pick me up.
It’s a short break as “Inheritance” eases back into more somber indie rock. That being said, it’s one of the catchiest songs from the EP, a rolling/waving chorus of “On and on and on…” as the drums punch through the chord progressions, peppering the song with intensity.
Red Nighfall faced some criticism (here and elsewhere) that their first album could use a bit of variety, and to an extent that holds. But with a short EP like Late in the Fever there’s just enough to impress you with the ambience the band is able to create before things go too far. It’s an exercise in restraint that pays off.
Top Track: “Inheritance”
Rating: Strong Hoot (Good)