Fights and Fires – Live Life Like a Tourist Album Review
Generally in music Drummers are given a pretty hard time of its, either musically or intellectually they are always being beaten down, If I can use that metaphor. This may be justified in some bands but maybe not in Fights and Fire, as there Drummer Lee Jackson proclaimed “We’ve had a change of heart,” “We got to a point where we were sick of being in a band. We became naively wrapped up in this vision of ‘trying to make it a success’ and we were actually overlooking the important part, which is to make sure you’re having fun.” This may seem a very simple statement to make regarding the bands priorities, but when it take you in a new direction from the point of ending the band then it’s worth a pointing out. Fights and Fires initially formed in 2008 around Worcester, although described as melodic hardcore inspired rock they also take influence from unusual sources such as Thin Lizzy and Status Quo. The new album Live Life Like a Tourist has 8 tracks they describe as melodic hardcore-infused punk-rock, and Philip Cox Vocals, Ryan Price Guitar, Philip Cook Bass, and of course Lee Jackson Drums look to have the description down to a tee.
Blanquettes Avenue is the perfect introduction with a clapping drum intro, before introducing the guitar that runs along at pace building up the vocals that have a sense of urgency coming through them. Track 2 Church Bells is a slower paced sound with a gravelly vocal, this has a more Punk styled beat or a Nirvana grunge melody going through it. It shows a softer side to the bands rapporteur but still with a hard edge, more of a growl than a roar but still a dangerous animal. Switching from the relentless pace of the next track awkward which leaves you at times breathless, to a more rock style track with maybe a touch of pop punk in there can’t be easy but shows diversity. Hard to Dream carries on in the same vain with growling vocal chords delivering the chorus at you rather than for you, with some heavy beats to back this up and the guitar riffs dipping in and out the song to great effect. Take a Swing at the World really show the 70s guitar influence on the intro and periodically throughout, mixing vintage with modern, like a experimental musical fashion designer coming up with this seasons sounds. The second to last track is kibosh another track that shakes its flares at the 70s sounds but only slightly, you can hear the melody behind the heavy attack on your ear drums as if to jump into the song before running away. Leaving the album now with a very different song in Ouija Board a powerful track that’s slow and deliberately although stripped bare, angst ridden vocals cry out over a picked and strummed guitar to fade away with feedback ending the song.
Fights and Fires may have changed direction and are now in a place to have fun as a band rather than chase success at all costs, this attitude may just be the reason for the new sound they have delivered coming to the party with platform shoes and skinny jeans. They seem to have forgotten about the path they should be on and wandered along a path they are happy to take on this album, taking the influences of the 70s bands and incorporating the Fights and Fires modern sound round that, justify giving this album a listen or two.