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The Wildfires Projekt an Emo Revival

Sometimes when musicians release an EP they can be very unfulfilling for us in the listening audience. An EP can be either really short or sometimes just composed of B-side tracks or remixes that frequently never feel like a full thought or sometimes no thought at all. Neither is the case on the new EP From Which We Came from The Wildfires Projekt. The project of frontman Johnny Zirkel, The Wildfires Projekt is an alternative post-hardcore group with a heavy leaning emo vibe that with this EP are diving deep in an expression of heartfelt emotion during a time where many will be able to relate. 

From Which We Came, co-written and produced by Ronnie Winter of Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, is a project that frontman Johnny Zirkel describes as an honest outpouring of emotional content that he believes everyone can relate to in these strange times. 

“Oftentimes artists aren’t able to truly express themselves with their music because they are told to write in a way that fits into a certain “tried and true” mold. But what happens when that mold is broken? Chaos or beauty?” shares Johnny Zirkel. “With this record, Ronnie and I explored breaking that mold. We made decisions that would not be expected by most listeners, and I believe that in doing so we were able to deliver a record so honest that the lyrics aren’t the only thing speaking the message, but the music as well.”

The album itself lives up to this description. After an ominous opening track sets the mood with a faux news report on “Eve Black”, the album explosively begins with “White Jacket and a barrage of guitars that fade into a dreamy verse before once again exploding into an anthemic chorus. All the while continuing to intermingle spoken word and singing with a driving rhythm. The opening and the first song feel connected as if one long track to start the album before taking a moment to reset on the next song, “Open Heart//Closed Casket.A standout song on the album with screams reminiscent of Davey Havok of AFI. The remaining tracks “Against the Wall,” “Once an Addict Always Dramatic,” and “Eyes Sewn Shut” feel the most connected sonically and do a great job cementing the overall album as a solid outing in songwriting, arrangement, and production. 
This album on a whole has me reminiscing for the days of the Warped Tour as I can imagine groups of fans singing along, especially to choruses like on “Once an Addict Always Dramatic.” With hints of pop-punk, emo, alternative, and post-hardcore genres all blending together this album does a great job of showcasing the emotion that Johnny Zirkel was looking to share with this project. At face value the album carries the hard rock mantle and emotion that Zirkel wanted to portray but with a deeper dive, particularly into the lyrics, you will find that not only sonically is the emotional impact felt but that it is delivered with honesty and authenticity. So, while this EP may only be six tracks it definitely reflects a fully thought out project that demonstrates a clear understanding of what The Wildfire Projekt should sound like and more importantly say.

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From Which We Came Tracklisting:

1. Eve Black

2. White Jacket

3. Open Heart // Closed Casket

4. Against the Wall

5. Once an Addict Always Dramatic

6. Eyes Sewn Shut

Photographer Josh Gooch is a North Carolina native and a graduate of Appalachian State, Josh Gooch works in education, teaching graphic design at the community college level. Photography became a passion during his college career, and remained a constant addition to the ever-present soundtrack of life. Privileged to have turned an ear to hip-hop at a young age, after developing a love of music from ‘80s radio, Josh found that the revelation of rock music in high school was what led him to really devote serious amounts of attention to music. From there it was that first club show that sparked an addiction to live music and the exposure to various forms of it during the college years, cementing a love of passion and truth in music. Now, with the ability to combine the passions of photography and music, he hopes to continue to develop a creative voice that others appreciate.

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