Switch Me On is the first LP from London/Brighton band The Fireworks, but it has the feel of a mid career album or even a retrospective of past singles. Perhaps one explanation is that while the band is relatively new the members are veterans of bands such as Big Pink Cake, The Pocketbooks, Popguns and The Wedding Present. The result is a debut from a band that has their sound completely dialed in. And what sound it is! Imagine if the Buzzcocks had merged with The Shop Assistants, although if you are searching for a more modern parallel consider the chainsaw pop of San Francisco’s Terry Malts. Thick, fuzzy, feedback-laden guitars with pop hooks and female (and occasionally male) vocals soaring over the sweet storm. I have chosen four of the songs to illustrate the album, but just about any one of the 13 would work. If you only have time for one, spin “Runaround”, but you will be cheating yourself.
Some bands decide to overpower you with punk energy, some with C86 sweetness, some with soaring, gut-thumping power pop. The Fireworks seem to have considered the options and then said “yes, all of them, only louder”.
Switch Me On is available now from Shelflife Records on vinyl, CD, and digital.