Catchy guitar hooks, pop infused melodies vocal harmonies and a punk attitude are all on the menu as the Fireworks introduce listeners to their debut record Switch Me On. Taking listeners on a fast paced romp through their musical world, the young band from England is the real deal backing up its punk attitude with raw unfiltered guitars, overpowering rhythms and a healthy dose of good old fashioned angst.
Switch Me On opens with a bit of anger on “With My Heart”. Emma Hall unleashes a tirade towards the guy that has done her wrong creating an instant bond with anyone that has gone through this. At the end of the song Matthew Rimmel’s vocals come in over top of Hall’s giving the song an extra layer of goodness. The track “On and On” finds Hall’s vocals weaving through Rimmel’s blistering guitars and the big bold rhythms care of Isabel Alviol (bass) and Shaun Chairman (drums). Once again she is singing about a relationship gone sour but instead of letting the offending party have a piece of her mind there is regret for letting them leave without saying a word. Rimmel’s static engulfed guitars try to take control of “Runaround” but catchy melodies, well placed tambourines and Hall’s vocals fight through the fuzz keeping it from becoming a muddied mess. On the titular track “Switch Me On” the Fireworks create a sound that is sonically similar to Jesus & Mary Chain while the booming drums and Rimmel’s vocals on “Final Say” remind me of early Iggy Pop. One of the catchier tunes on the record is the jangly “Let You Know”. Opening with a Lemonheads vibe the song quickly evolves into an 80’s post punk sound as Rimmel sings about letting someone know you have feelings for them. The album ends with the bare bones somber “In the Morning”. It seems out of place with the rest of the songs on Switch Me On and at first I had the feeling it was a throw away track until I listened to it a second time and realized it is quite brilliant.
Switch Me On is a nice collection of songs from a band that refuses to fall in line with what is popular. The Firecracker’s music stands out among the throngs of bubble gum pop, electronica and pretend punk groups because they embrace the past in their music instead of thumbing their noses at it. After listening to the 13 tracks on their debut record I conclude that the Firecrackers realize good music is more about the substance than the flair. If you dig kick ass rock music then add Switch Me On to your playlists.