Fire Marshals Of Bethlehem, The World From The Back Seat
Fire Marshals Of Bethlehem
The World From The Back Seat
With three singers and songwriters among its five members, Austin pop band the Fire Marshals Of Bethlehem could potentially fall victim to too-many-cooks syndrome, but it doesn’t turn out that way. Though frontwoman Julie Lowery, violinist Jenny Smith and drummer David Mider are distinctly different writers, their songs mesh surprisingly well on this second outing from the Fire Marshals (and first for this specific lineup — John Croslin having departed and reunited with his former Reivers bandmates, while guitarist Robbie Araiza is added and keyboardist John Ratliff subtracted). Lowery and Smith excel with shimmering melodic numbers driven by the guitar leads of Araiza; Smith’s resplendently layered “Everywhere” is a real standout, especially given that she’s only recently stepped up as a primary songwriter. Mider is the wild card here, as he was with longtime Austin pop faves Javelin Boot; his songs fit the mix but broaden the range, particularly the contemplative and acoustic “Quiet In Here”, which shows a maturity that reaches beyond the more buoyant material he’s tended toward in the past. Smith and Mider co-wrote the track “No. 58,” which sparkles with multiple harmonies from all three of the band’s vocalists.