Hailing from Sheffield, Crossfire Eagles release their highly anticipated second EP, following a challenging yet productive year of single releases. The band is made up of James Wilson on guitar and lead locals, Keaton Barker on drums and none other than the son of Def Leppard’s Rick Savage, Tyler, providing guitar and vocals.
Finally sharing their six-track indie whirlwind, including a bonus seventh track in the form of an instrumental 29 seconds, the band have achieved what they set out to create with ‘Major Arcana’ being something ‘you can listen to from start to finish without having to skip a song’.
Initially inspired by the issue of homelessness in Sheffield and wider themes of mental health, opener ‘Episode’, builds an emotive picture through its heartfelt lyrics that capture what it feels like to be struggling; something a lot of people can relate to after a difficult year. Sonically, the track is a fast-paced ride, channelling Catfish and The Bottlemen vibes with its initial energetic intro and later satisfying guitar solo providing a strong start to the EP. The second track, ‘Step Out’, is self-described as ‘If Everlong (Foo Fighters) and Anything (Catfish and The Bottlemen) had a baby’, and might personally be my favourite to feature in this collection. With its catchy earworm of a melody, and lyrics revolving around the feelings experienced when ‘stepping out’ of the friendzone and taking relationships to the next level, it exudes just the right amount of punchy energy before the EP’s melancholic interlude, ‘Intertalker’.
Most recently released, ‘All You Know’ is a remastered version of their popular 2019 single and its initial guitar chords personally strike a metaphorical chord within, sparking a yearn for live music to return so that we can all make up for what we have lost in the past year. The track brings a powerful slice of light-hearted and euphoric indie-rock, telling the story of someone who’s desperate to escape the real world and focus on the one who is most special to them, with its summer vibes evoking excitement for the return of gigs and festivals soon (fingers crossed!).
Closing track, ‘Strawberry Fields’, is an ambitious number with a simple, wholesome message about a child looking up to their heroes and aspiring to be like them when they grow up. The band draw upon multiple influences for this final track with verses reminiscent of Red Hot Chili Peppers before the satisfying and anthemic chorus which will definitely get the crowds going once the band are able to perform live again. This track really builds following a breakdown, which then descends into a wall of drums and guitars to mirror Fleetwood Mac’s ‘The Chain’, as this epic track brings the curtain down on a ‘very proud and honest collection of songs’.
This EP is everything you could wish for from a group of talented, up and coming musicians with a clear creative direction, shown not only through their music, but in the EP’s title, artwork and promotion, with tarot cards reflecting how each song in the collection tells its own story. Overall, ‘Major Arcana’ is a well-produced and exciting piece of work from a very passionate and hard-working band who are successfully establishing themselves in Sheffield’s local music scene as well as further afield, and deservedly so.