On the latest EP from The Wildfires Projekt, the wide range of emotions felt while listening to the record only further showcases the tragic beauty of the world we are all living in right now. This band is comprised of Johnny Zirkel and was co-written/produced by Ronnie Winter (The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus), and the duo of artists work very well together. The record teeters on the edge of post-hardcore in the same vein as Circa Survive and Saosin, with plenty of newer elements thrown into the mix as well. With a wide range of themes such as tackling depression, anxiety, and addiction, The Wildfires Projekt has crafted a well thought out collection of songs worthy of your attention.
Leading off the record with the eerie sounding instrumental, “Eve Black,” it prepares the listener for the dark-toned material from the EP. After quickly fading into the great track, “White Jacket,” the contrast to the moody opener cuts away into some great melodic alternative rock moments. The impressive vocal range of Zirkel is shown early on as he confidently sways from a croon to a scream and everything in between.
Other songs, such as the cryptic “Open Heart // Closed Casket,” deals with some pretty heavy themes of mortality, all while keeping a heavy heart to the elements that make us all human in the first place. “Once an Addict Always Dramatic” takes a deeper dive into the struggles of addiction, and Zirkel does a commendable job of making the dark material still feel breathable and relatable as he navigates through the lush musical landscapes that he has created.
Overall, this quick EP does a great job of introducing the band to a broader audience as they show that no emotion or topic is off-limits. The journey that Zirkel and Winter take us on from the first notes to the closing outro is a riveting ride into the minds of the two artists. By not limiting themselves in terms of topics or stylistic choices, The Wildfires Projekt will continue to be a band to watch as the year unfolds.