Fireworks - Gospel (Cover Artwork)


Fireworks: GospelGospel (2011)
Triple Crown Records

Reviewer Rating: 3
User Rating:

Contributed by: evanispunxevanispunx
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Alright, first of all, I wanted to review this record because I know no one else would have the guts to do it. Honestly it's a guilty pleasure of mine. Looking at Fireworks' older recordings, it is considerably poppier than any of them. The production is top notch, which is also part of its downside.
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Alright, first of all, I wanted to review this record because I know no one else would have the guts to do it. Honestly it's a guilty pleasure of mine. Looking at Fireworks' older recordings, it is considerably poppier than any of them. The production is top notch, which is also part of its downside. The poppy isn't so bad, (Think: Man Overboard), but some of Dave McKinder's vocal deliveries are just obnoxious. The band has definitely progressed as far as their sound goes, but in my opinion, not necessarily in the right direction in some spots. Still, after a few listens, there are strokes of individuality in the pop-punk genre.

Gospel begins with the best track, "Arrows." Initially you can notice the progression the band has made in their songwriting style and delivery. The lyrics are cliché as usual, but it's pop-punk, and Fireworks are good at it. McKinder's sense of melody and overall improved vocals shine in the refrain.

The second song, "I Was Born In The Dark," has a drum beat and chord progression that downright sounds like Shook Ones, but McKinder and the production again add their poppy touch. This is an example of the direction I think Fireworks should have gone from All I Have to Offer is My Own Confusion. It really begins the record nicely, these two songs. "Arrows" is a poppy number, and "Dark" is fast and hardcore-influenced. The combination of the two sounds sums of the record essentially.

A few songs that I dislike as of now: "We're Still Pioneers" opens and I immediately want to skip the trackbecause of the annoying nasally melody. It's almost painful to get through. The main riff in "I Sealed My Time Capsule" honestly sounds like a bad Motion City Soundtrack ripoff. The attempt at an acoustic ballad does not work in their favor with "I Am The Challenger"

McKinder does become obnoxious in other parts of the record, but in others he truly establishes his sense of melody and his vocal approach is top notch. He is a talented singer and he should let go of the New Found Glory and work more on the Starting Line/the Wonder Years.

Another theme I recognize from the record is the sense of melody itself. It is reminiscent of soul (particularly the vocals) and maybe even emo/indie in some areas, especially with the riffs in "Wild Bunch" and "Oh, Why Can't We Start Old," and the beginning of "Arrows." McKinder's lyrics of growing "older" get old itself mighty fast. Enjoy life and stop complaining, is what I say. Find something else to write about than nostalgia and aging. Maybe Fireworks will find their place among this decade's post-hardcore/pop-punk bands. They may become a band as deserving as opening for Hot Water Music as Hostage Calm and Make Do And Mend, but currently they can't compare to those two.


People who liked this also liked:
Timeshares - Bearable [12-inch]Balance and Composure - SeparationBomb the Music Industry! - VacationThe Wonder Years - Suburbia I've Given You All and Now I'm NothingDave Hause - ResolutionsSpraynard - FuntitledAndrew Jackson Jihad - Knife ManDan Andriano - Hurricane SeasonPianos Become The Teeth - The Lack Long AfterTransit - Listen & Forgive

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
yannteyssou (January 6, 2015)

This review doesn't give the album the credit it deserves, I believe.

Incredible lyrics. Brilliant musicianship. Excellent Vocals.

What's not to love?

originaljohnny (October 17, 2011)

this is one of the most terrible reviews i've ever read. and i do not criticize reviews/reviewers very often, if anything i'll just disagree at worst. let go of the NFG and try more wonder years? i can understand not liking the guys voice, and the similarities between he and NFG and TWY respectively, but what kind of a fucking boneheaded statement is that?

i think this album is fantastic, and i think this band should be applauded for being brave enough to step in certain directions. between the production and some of the expansion in their songwriting game, they do as good of a job at bringing some originality to the genre as any. in pop punk that's virtually impossible. album made me fan of this band.

romanjsmith (October 16, 2011)

really? i find the wonder years are much much more cringe worthy than this band. listen to logan circle its brutal

Hashbrowns (October 14, 2011)

I enjoyed this release. Certainly better production from Brian mcternan than the set your goals album. Standouts are Arrows, Paul Revere, Wild Ones, and especially Teeth.

danperrone (October 14, 2011)

i think this is a really good album, even though it sags a bit from tracks 9-11. "why can't we start old..." sounds like maroon 5.

evanispunx (October 14, 2011)

^No. The Wonder Years rule. And this band use to but now does not. They have found their sound but I am not a fan obviously. There is better pop punk that is not as painful to listen to. Like The Wonder Years, The Story So Far, blah.

And most of the kids on these threads wouldn't even consider the bands I just mentioned as pop punk. When some punks think pop punk, then think Dear Landlord and Latterman.

I personally, think of all those bands. Just the aforementioned ones are on the poppier side of punk.

nick_s (October 14, 2011)

I know what you mean about that Motion City Soundtrack melody, it has been ripped verbatim.

This record is more on the pop side of things, but that isn't a bad thing. The melodies and harmonies are really strong and each instrument sits nicely in the mix. Really like the fact they've kept it fairly concise. Liking it more than I thought I would.

freshattitudeyoungbody (October 14, 2011)

I really love the poppy direction they went with on this album. It's been one of my favorites of the year so far, which was something I didn't expect at all.

stevediwhy (October 14, 2011)

I think this might be Firework's best release. I've been listening since We Are Everywhere came out, and these guys have yet to put out a bad record. They're still the same catchy and tight pop punk band, but they've also refined everything they do along the way, from the songwriting to the words sung. Say what you want, but Fireworks is doing the genre their own way and I personally think it's better than most bands in the genre.

exitenglish1208 (October 14, 2011)

all i could think watching them live was that they were trying way too hard to be new found glory, and weren't pulling it off all too well. which isn't a slight on new found glory at all

skolarx (October 14, 2011)

I still need to pick this one up. It's been interesting to watch their progression from their earlier bands like Half the Battle (Kyle) and Let It Die (Chris M.) to this band. That said their last album took a bit of time to grow on me but once it did, I loved it

millslane (October 14, 2011)

I actually think this record is a major step up from the previous work. Actually one of my favorite records of the year.

reedaretheunion (October 14, 2011)

Fireworks should sound more like The Wonder Years? Really?

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