Rather than being ahead of its time, Cerberus Shoal was always beyond it; consequently, the band's sprawling idiosyncrasy got mostly lost in the post-everything frenzy of the '90s. The currents have drifted a bit closer to the band's world lately, however, which is why Fire On Fire—the self-titled debut EP by Cerberus Shoal's new incarnation—resonates so harmoniously. The band's gentle assembly of multiethnic instrumentation, idiomatic Americana, and trippy soulfulness makes perfect sense today, and Fire couldn't be a better introduction: With shuffling grace and broad-skied rusticity, the ensemble cuts through pretense with an ear toward stuttering heartbeats, higher powers, and an almost cosmic consonance. Fire On Fire's first full-length is due next year, but it's hard to imagine them topping these five songs' sheer magnificence.
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