Oh No Forest Fires (ONFF) started as a basement songwriting and noisemaking project between Rajiv Thavanathan (ex-Five Blank Pages) and Adam Nimmo (ex-The Most Serene Republic). Upon circulating demos to friends, interest started growing and the lineup eventually expanded to include Matt Del Buono (ex-Vulcan Dub Squad) and Brock Swanek (ex-Fox Jaws) as part of the songwriting process. Based on an unbridled willingness to try any sonic possibility, the band is characterized as noisy guitar-pop, with an acrobatic live presence, often featuring guest horn or string players.
Already, they have shared the stage with international touring acts like Oh No! Oh My!, The Blakes, The Acorn, Plants & Animals, Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin, So Many Dynamos, and Juno award winners Wintersleep.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for media/booking.
Visit us online at www.myspace.com/ohnoforestfires
"Glorious, guitar-driven anthems that make prog-pop seem like the most natural thing in the world and an energetic live show that the stage couldn't contain... ONFF were one of the most impressive new things I've seen in a long time. That their four-song EP is as good as it is and is still just a demo is both exciting and frightening." ~ Frank Yang, Chromewaves.
“The songs are also sharp bursts of kinetic energy… that rise well above your typical indie rock fare.” ~ Bob Battams, It’s Not The Band I Hate, It’s The Fans.
"[ONFF] destroyed their live show... I was hooked and I now deem them the must-see-band out of Toronto." ~ Alicia Freeborn, Two Way Monologues.
Rajiv Thavanathan [guitar, vocals, synth]
Brock Swanek [guitar, vocals]
Matt Del Buono [bass, vocals, piano]
Adam Nimmo [drums]
"The War On Geometry" - 2008 - Released Independently
"Untitled EP" - 2007 - Released Independently
Exclaim! CMW 2008 - Live Review
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Toronto’s newest indie rock amalgamation held back nothing for their set at the Horseshoe. Comprised...Toronto’s newest indie rock amalgamation held back nothing for their set at the Horseshoe. Comprised of former members of the Most Serene Republic, Five Blank Pages, Fox Jaws, and the Vulcan Dub Squad, the idea of it all sounds promising. But what sounds even more promising is the limitless noisy post-rock they write, and relentlessly perform on stage. After just losing a lead guitarist and vocalist, the now four-piece were less than tight but more than made up for it with the juicy hooks, triumphant group sing-alongs, and impossibly-hard-not-to-dance-to cover of “Footloose.” It made for one of the messiest, yet most fun, sets all week from a band with enormous potential.
ChartAttack - CMW 2008
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Grade: 86% This Toronto four-piece feature former members of Most Serene Republic, Five Blank Pag...Grade: 86%
This Toronto four-piece feature former members of Most Serene Republic, Five Blank Pages and Fox Jaws. They're still unsigned, but if they continue to play the way they did at Thursday night's Chart showcase, they won't be for long.
Oh No Forest Fires had the misfortune of playing the 2:30 a.m. time slot, which meant most of the crowd had already left by the time they hit the stage. Those who went home really missed out, as Oh No Forest Fires played one of Thursday evening's best sets.
Oh No Forest Fires blazed a trail of energy across the stage throughout their set. Frontman Rajiv Thavanathan was completely into his performance, as he flailed around the stage while demonstrating his excellent guitar chops. His witty banter kept the crowd involved, and managed to provide self-validation for those who stuck out the night.
Thavanathan wasn't the only key ingredient in Oh No Forest Fires' great performance. Drummer Adam Nimmo proved he's one of Toronto's best drummers as he pounded his kit at a pace so astounding you'd think he was in a speed metal band. That said, the band's vocal skills could be improved, as there's a bit to be desired in that department.
One of the highlights of the set was an impromptu cover of Kenny Loggins' "Footloose," which the band brilliantly transitioned into The Cure's "Close To Me." It was an additional witty and hilarious turn of events which made the performance all the more worthwhile.
Chromewaves - Live Review
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The last time I saw them I alluded to them sharing musical headspace with Broken Social Scene and wh...The last time I saw them I alluded to them sharing musical headspace with Broken Social Scene and while that knack for pulling pop out of chaos is definitely still present... there's a lot more chaos. Actually, "bedlam" was the word that most jumped into my head the most, watching the four piece gleefully bound around the Horseshoe stage, eventually demolishing as much of their equipment as the possibly could. Some bands like to jump around on stage - ONFF move like they're in a pinball machine stuck on "TILT" and slowly filling with lava, and yet they manage to deliver their songs rather impeccably. It's really something to behold. Their now-completed, soon to be released debut album The War On Geometry should better demonstrate the band's songwriting chops and range, but for the full, in-your-face experience seeing them live is the way to go. Do so before they blow up. Or self-immolate.
I Heart Music Album Review
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The War on Geometry is completely unpredictable, and all the better for it. Even though I've list...The War on Geometry is completely unpredictable, and all the better for it.
Even though I've listened to The War On Geometry more times than I can count, I still can't get a handle on Oh No Forest Fires. They don't really have anything in common with the bands they've drawn members from -- they certainly aren't in the generic pop-rock vein of Fox Jaws or Five Blank Pages, and their sound is too focused to be compared to The Most Serene Republic -- so that line of comparison is a non-starter. They have hints of all kinds of different genres in their music -- punky group shouts here, angular guitar work there, an epic sounding organ somewhere else -- but they don't commit to one sound enough for them to be classified in any one genre. In fact, with an average song length that clocks in well over four minutes, ONFF seem intent on cramming every idea they possibly can into each song, to the point that you start wondering if that un-classifiable-ness is intentional.
Regardless of whether it is, it certainly makes for an interesting listen, and I mean that in the best possible sense. The way the band bounces around from style to style and sound to sound makes it impossible to know where they're going to go next, which means that all you can do when listening to The War On Geometry is hold on tight and enjoy the ride. They kick things off with a spastic opener ("It's Not Fun And Games Until Someone Loses An Eye") that falls off a cliff three-quarters of the way through, and then rights itself just as abruptly. They follow that up with the thundering drums and epic pipe organ of "I Gotta Tell Ya Fellas, This Is Pretty Terrific", and they go from there into the wildly unpredictabe "Robin The Boy Wonders (Song Aaron Likes)", with its crashing cymbals and enormous-sounding guitars.
While the other four songs basically fall into those same three categories, it never feels as though ONFF have a method to what they're doing. In particular, "Swing and a Misdemeanour" deserves to be singled out for the way it can be described as both catchy and twitchy, spastic" and "mathy. The War On Geometry careens around with reckless abandon, and at its best -- which, really, is a moment the band manages to sustain over the whole half hour or so -- it's impossible to resist. Oh No Forest Fires have come out with one of the year's most exciting debuts, and it'll be interesting to see where they go next.
NOW Magazine - Album Review
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The first impression from It’s Not Fun And Games Unless Someone Loses An Eye, which kicks off this r...The first impression from It’s Not Fun And Games Unless Someone Loses An Eye, which kicks off this release by local spazz indie rockers Oh No Forest Fires, is how much influence producer Kenny Bridges had on the proceedings. From the inordinately long titles to controlled outbursts that explode in between dynamic guitar interplay, it feels very Theory Of Harmonial Value (accordion interlude aside).
But dig deeper into the debut and Oh No assert their own charming identity with complex four-minute ranging song structures and frequent jumps between stop-starts and protracted, frenetic guitar duels, while Matt Del Buono’s voice remains effectively subdued amidst the chaos.
~ Jason Keller
Hero Hill Album Review
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Long story short, it's an invigorating listen. The Toronto band dabbles in so many sounds and styles...Long story short, it's an invigorating listen. The Toronto band dabbles in so many sounds and styles that trying to pigeon hole their sound with generic descriptors is next to impossible, but I can say that the energy and urgency that the band creates makes the 7-song EP the musical equivalent of Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. Every song is filled with proggy builds and more starts-and-stops than a relationship in a teenage melodrama, but somehow the band never bites off more than it can chew or more than the listener can take.
Even a slow, brooding, organ filled anthem like I Gotta Tell Ya Fellas, This Is Pretty Terrific explodes into a garage-y climax that gets you excited for the huge sound they deliver on Robin The Boy Wonders. The swirling guitars make the quartet sound as big as any of the noise collectives that helped form that Toronto sound a few years back, but you never think that Oh No Forest Fire aspires to write anthems.
It should be fairly obvious to anyone who listens to The War on Geometry that Oh No Forest Fires is onto something, possibly something big. They can float into an orchestral mode that surges like the incoming tide (New Cove Road Back Home), but instead of simply enjoying the sounds you are left wondering what sharp curve is coming next. They can easily win over the more "mathy" listener, but know when to tighten the ship and revert to more pop laced structure. By the time they get to the feedback and distortion that dominates the roller coaster ride known as Fighting Heidi, there isn’t much sonic territory the band left uncovered.
Throw in the fact that the band didn’t rework the great elements of Swing And A Misdemeanor and You Know What This Is… Trouble (the shocking piano pop that materializes from the fog still gets me excited after tons of listens) and you are left with one of the outstanding Canadian EPs.
Toronto Indie - Live Review
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I remember the first time ever seeing Oh No Forest Fires in London. I was walking past the stage whe...I remember the first time ever seeing Oh No Forest Fires in London. I was walking past the stage when I looked over and saw what appeared to be a bunch of rag dolls in a washing machine. Bodies flying all over the stage with some tightly wound electric sounds. I then stuck around for the remainder of their set and decided to throw these guys to the top of my must-see-loyalty-list.
I arrived at the Silver Dollar to see that the boys had already hit the stage. The air was hot and the crowd was as present as ever. Oh No Forest Fires were up to their usual loud indie sound, gyrating around stage with great stage presence and beautiful transitions between songs. The tunes can be easily categorized as indie rock, yet it’s got just a pinch more soul and certainly a lot more skill than you’d expect from your six dollar door cover. They threw in a few covers on top of their original arrangements, including “Run’s House” and a mixture of “Black or White” to cap off their show. The interesting aspect to this bands live show is that you’ll never know what you’re going to get: one second you’re sipping your beer to some mellow tunes, the next you’re helping a band member back on stage after bailing (Rajiv, you owe me for that microphone save).
Oh No Forest Fires, I’d say, are for those who like their rock loud, appreciate a great live performance, and enjoy a good run at the old dancing shoes.
It's Not The Band I Hate, It's The Fans - Live Review
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[ONFF] are a local indie-pop band that I have been intrigued about for a while, because the buzz aro...[ONFF] are a local indie-pop band that I have been intrigued about for a while, because the buzz around them has been quite favorable. Their live show did not disappoint. The songs are hooky and energetic and guitarist / keyboardist / vocalist Rajiv Thavanathan is now my new favorite rock star, (which is convenient considering I went to see him again in another band the following evening, unbeknownst to me.) Seriously, the dude is Sonic the Hedgehog with more energy as he bounces around the stage like a madman, making him also one of the most difficult human beings to photograph ever (except when he poses like he did in the above picture.) The songs on their myspace page are also sharp bursts of kinetic energy reminding me a bit of The Weakerthans mixed in with a little Built To Spill as they showcase a sound that I find very exciting. I'm looking forward to seeing/ hearing what else this band is capable of in the near future. They're playing their brains out around our fair city in the weeks to come so I'm sure that I'll be seeing them again soon.
Typical set list is 8-10 songs of original material, set length is between 30-45 minutes.
There are no upcoming dates at this time.