Jonathan Fire*Eater are one of those bands whose influence far outstripped their fame. The NYC band influenced early-millennium rock stars like the Strokes and Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and three of its members — Walter Martin, Matt Barrick, and Paul Maroon — would later join the Walkmen. But the Jonathan Fire*Eater operation itself never took off in the same way, so they remain more of a cult favorite.
Before frontman Stewart Lupton’s died last year, plans were in the works to reissue the band’s Tremble Under Boom Lights EP along with The Plural Atmosphere, a 45-page chapbook of Lupton’s poems. That reissue is out today on Third Man, and it ends with a previously unreleased song called “In The Head.” This is great news for Jonathan Fire*Eater fans, but also for anyone who ever loved the Walkmen; on this track in particular, you can hear a primordial version of that band’s sound forming in real time.
Stream the full reissued Tremble Under Boom Lights EP below, or just skip to the end to hear “In The Head.”
Tremble Under Boom Lights is out now on Third Man. Buy the black vinyl and chapbook bundle here.