San Francisco-based indie rock band The May Fire is just like its Bay Area stomping grounds — lively, imaginative, and capable of creating a harmonic convergence of seemingly contrary styles and ideas. The band features former Miami resident Catty Tasso as lead singer and guitarist; musically it incorporates surf rock and cowboy guitar riffs with Sixties wipe-out-style keyboards. The overall sound on the group's short but irreverently sweet 2007 EPs Plastic Army and La Victoria (featuring five and six songs, respectively) is grungy, with a punk-pop appeal reminiscent of the Pixies and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.
Take for example Plastic Army's title track, in which Tasso's mysterious, edgy voice begs to be released of boredom in a most adrenaline-pumping manner. The bandmates run up and down frenzied guitar scales and then pounce on the keyboard as if it were a pogo stick. But on "Break Away," they skid into a steady cadence as Tasso contemplates a lover who brought her flowers "red like your lips and cold as your heart."
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The parade continues on La Victoria's "Marcha," where The May Fire reveals its Latin roots with some rock en español. There's a moody transition from distorted guitars and pounding bass line to a happy-go-lucky Sixties chorus. Ever-present on both albums are Tasso's catchy, angst-ridden lyrics. "I felt so blue when I woke up today/I wanted to be happy but the thought got in the way," she rants on "They Make Me Mad." Next thing you know you're chanting along in a mass release of endorphins.