Back in July, I went to the Black Cat to check out the noir cinema pop of Brooklyn band KATIEE. However, like everyone else there, I was rather stunned by the opening act, DC psych quartet Time Is Fire.
The four men in Time Is Fire cite DC punk as an influence on their band, and occasionally they marry some post-punk guitar structures to their upbeat musical style. However, when they really get rolling, they become a full-blown psychedelic jam ready to enthusiastically throw down as a wandering dance party all by themselves.
Sometimes frontman Kamyar Arsani sings in English and sometimes Farsi, and the instruments in the band tend to move with him from more traditional rock to hazy Middle Eastern rhythms. It’s totally appropriate given that Kamyar is a daf player and Sufi poet who grew up in Tehran, where he absorbed both Western and Persian music. He is joined by drummer Jim Thomson (CSC Funk Band, Bio Ritmo, GWAR, Alter Natives), guitarist Matt Perrone (Alma Tropicalia), and bassist Ashish Vyas (Thievery Corporation, GoGoGo Airheart).
In November 2015, Time Is Fire released their self-titled debut EP, produced by Fugazi’s Brendan Canty, via Electric Cowbell. You can listen to the EP, and buy it, on Bandcamp:
Time Is Fire really come alive in concert. When they play, they are fully in their own world, weaving a sort of hypnotic field, but they also enjoying themselves so fully that it’s downright infectious.
Watch the official music video for “Fetneh,” which really manages to capture the energy of Time Is Fire in performance:
The band have announced two shows in the coming months. They open for Social Station at DC9 on Thursday Jan. 28, and then they appear with Prince Rama and SISTR MD9IGHT in a lineup at Comet Ping Pong on Saturday, March 5. Tix for the DC9 show are available at the door; tix for the Comet Ping Pong show are available online.
It’s well worth your time to check them out!
Time Is Fire
Opening for Social Station
Thursday, Jan. 28