With little over 4 years since their previous album, and with only a small handful of shows played recently, things have been pretty quiet lately from the Worcester based punk quartet Fights and Fires. However, the band are set to come out swinging into the summer of 2017 with their latest offering, Live Life Like A Tourist; a snappy, noisy and passionate collection of 8 tracks bursting at the seams with pure, unfiltered action and energy.
Fights have never been hesitant to state their well-established sound is the outcome of a broad range of inspirations; ranging from entrenched punk bands such as Rocket from the Crypt and The Bronx, all the way to more classic and traditional rock bands such as Status Quo and Thin Lizzy. Just from listening to the album, this broad, diverse and contrasting range of inspirations is clearly evident.
Live Life… is a meaty platter of punk oriented styles that shine through, interplay and blend seamlessly. Each track on this short outing contains its own unique and exclusive atmosphere, but reverberates with a blanketing and universal buzz and vitality that fully engages and seeps into you. With the classic hardcore punk ambience and tones of ‘Awkward’; softer and slightly more bouncy pop punk sounds of ‘Church Bells’, and uplifting yet punchy and violent vibrations of ‘Take A Swing At The World’, there’s a lot of content and tones to engage with, ponder and enjoy.
Taking this into consideration, one of the most key and notable elements of the album is the distinguishable vocal delivery of lead vocalist Philp; a raw and passionate vociferation that can be compared to the vocals found within releases by bands such as Polar Bear Club and Can’t Swim. Established on Fight and Fires debut release, ‘Proof That Ghosts Exist’, it’s relieving to see that this vocal style has survived the many years this band has been active. It fits perfectly with the raw action of the hardcore infused and inspired tracks just as well as it does on the tenderer and emotional moments presented here. Truly, the raw and rowdy vocals perfectly embody the pure, relatable energy, and passion presented on this short, yet fantastic album.
In summary, Live Life… is crucial listening for those whom enjoy their punk records varied, with high impact and bursting with energy and passion. Out 14th July on Lockjaw Records.
Score: 8/10 Facebook:/fightsandfires Twitter: @fightsandfires Review by Dan Hillier