Smoke or Fire / Tim Barry / Fifth Hour Hero

Smoke or Fire / Tim Barry / Fifth Hour Hero: live in Punxsatawneylive in Punxsatawney (2007)
Fat Wreck Chords

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:

Contributed by: P-FreshP-Fresh
(others by this writer | submit your own)

My good friend Fat Nick and I made a three-hour drive last Friday to see three amazing acts perform: Fifth Hour Hero (on their last tour before breaking up,) Tim Barry and his backing band, and Smoke or Fire. Fifth Hour Hero sound checked and immediately opened their set with "My Sympathies" from.

My good friend Fat Nick and I made a three-hour drive last Friday to see three amazing acts perform: Fifth Hour Hero (on their last tour before breaking up,) Tim Barry and his backing band, and Smoke or Fire.

Fifth Hour Hero sound checked and immediately opened their set with "My Sympathies" from their most recent, and in my opinion, best record, Not Revenge...Just a Vicious Crush. If you don't own this release, or any of their others, you should be ashamed of yourself, and should immediately click over to No Idea Records' website, and buy them! Aside from a few songs they stuck pretty much to material from the aforementioned album. The band members were laughing and joking the entire set, and it was nice to be able to watch this band go out on a good note. I'll certainly miss them; I'm just glad I got to see them one last time. The set was quite energetic, despite the low temperature of the room thanks to what seemed to be a near-total lack of heating.

Tim Barry was up next, and was definitely the set I looked forward to the most. From the time he self-released a demo in 2005, I was completely hooked on Mr. Barry's storytelling style of songwriting. I grew up with a family friend around who loved Johnny Cash, and subsequently, as he was around quite a bit, I started listening to The Man In Black from an early age. The way Tim Barry delivers his songs is eerily similar to Mr. Cash. That's a bold statement to make, comparing the singer of a punk band gone country solo to the legend of Johnny Cash, but I do think it's a fair one to make. With a backing band comprised of friends and family members (Tim's sister Caitlin plays the violin live), he seems just as at ease in this type of setting as he does at an Avail show. The set list was rounded out nicely with a varied selection of songs from both his self-released demo (later re-issued by Dancing in the Dark Records as Laurel St. Demo 2005), and his 2006 Suburban Home Records release Rivanna Junction. The crowd reaction to some of these songs was impressive, to say the least.

Smoke or Fire's new record, This Sinking Ship is far heavier on melody than its predecessor was. In a live setting, these songs were delivered with the same fervor as any of the band's previous material. The band bounced back and forth between tracks from both records without missing a beat, and the crowd in the Punxsatawney Community Center matched the band's intensity throughout their set. This was not the best set I've ever seen the band play, but even just a "good" set from Smoke or Fire tends to be more energetic and fun than some bands playing at their peak. Another set of live Smoke or Fire jams in the can -- here's to many more.


People who liked this also liked:
The Movielife - Has a Gambling ProblemNone More Black - This Is SatireKid Dynamite - Shorter, Faster, LouderStrike Anywhere - Change Is A SoundRise Against - Revolutions Per MinuteFifth Hour Hero - Not Revenge...Just a Vicious CrushAgainst Me! - New WaveThis Time Next Year - A Place for YouFake Problems - It's Great to Be AliveOperation Ivy - Operation Ivy

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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.
Anonymous (April 23, 2007)


Anonymous (April 21, 2007)

up teh punxsatawney

Anonymous (April 20, 2007)


I'm working on a short story that involves the war-torn city of Beirut as seen by an American woman. It's for a creative writing class. I've included a small portion of it below. Can you punkers and punkettes give me your unbiased opinion on the quality of my writing? Do you find my descriptions evocative, my sentences tight? Thanks!

***Liz Weeden***

"About an hour later something wakes her. She comes out on the balcony again, telling herself to be alert. It is nearly four a.m. and she has a sense of some heavy presence, a grinding in the earth. She leans over the rail and sees a tank come chugging around the corner in the cratered street. Mounted cannon bobbing. She feels the beat of adrenaline but stays where she is and waits. She thinks it‚??s an old Soviet T-34, some scarred and cruddy ancient, sold and stolen two dozen times, changing sides and systems and religion. The only markings are graffiti, many years of spritzed paint. The tank moves up the street and she hears voices, sees people walking behind it. Civilians talking and laughing and well-dressed, twenty adults and half as many children, mostly girls in pretty dresses and white knee-stocking and patent-leather shoes. And here is the stunning thing that takes her a moment to understand, that this is a wedding party going by. The bride and groom carry champagne glasses and some of the girls hold sparklers that send off showers of excited light. A guest in a pastel tuxedo smokes a long cigar and does a dance around a shell hole, delighting the kids. The bride‚??s gown is beautiful, with lacy appliqu√© at the bodice, and she looks surpassingly alive, they all look transcendent, free of limits and unsurprised to be here. They make it seem only natural that a wedding might advance its resplendence with a free-lance tank as escort. Sparklers going. Other children holding roses tissued in fern. Brita is gripping the rail. She wants to dance or laugh or jump off the balcony. It seems completely possible that she will land softly among them and walk along in her pajama shirt and panties all the way to heaven. The tank is passing right below her, turret covered in crude drawings, and she hurries inside and pours another glass of melon liqueur and comes out to toast the newlyweds, calling down, ‚??Bonne chance‚?Ě and ‚??Bonheur‚?Ě and ‚??Good luck‚?Ě and ‚??Salam‚?Ě and ‚??Skal,‚?Ě and the gun turret begins to rotate and the cannon eases slowly around like a smutty honeymoon joke and everyone is laughing. The bridegroom raises his glass to the half-dressed foreigner on the top-floor balcony and then they pass into the night, followed by a jeep with a recoilless rifle mounted at the rear.
It is over too soon. She stays outside, listening to the last small rustle of their voices falling. It is stil dark and she feels a chill in the smoky hair. The city is quiet for the first time since she arrived. She examines the silence. She looks out past the rooftops, westward. There is a flash out there in the dark near a major checkpoint. Then another in the same spot, several more, intense and white. She waits for the reciprocating flash, the return fire,/but all the bursts are in one spot and there is no sound. What could it be then if it‚??s not the start of the day‚??s first exchange of automatic-weapons fire? Only one thing of course. Someone is out there with a camera and a flash unit. Brita stays on the balcony for another minute, watching the magnesium pulse that brings an image to a strip of film. She crosses her arms over her body against the chill and counts off bursts of relentless light. The dead city photographed one more time."

Anonymous (April 20, 2007)


Torgo (April 20, 2007)

... is this town really spelt Punxsatawney?

Anonymous (April 20, 2007)

yes! "reviews written by robots..." robots are cool, anyway, this was a really good show !! It was quite interesting how many folks traveled quite a ways for this show, at one point Tim asked how many people were from Punxutawney, only a handful raised there hands!! Fifth Hour Hero will be missed !! & phil was sleeping.


branden (April 20, 2007)

i feel like all the reviews this week were written by robots. except jesse's

telegraphrocks (April 20, 2007)

"can someone post an actual set list from smoke or fire on this tour"

When they played Chicago, the set was (in album order):

When The Battery Dies, Rises In The East, Worker's Union: -nothing-

Above The City: "California's Burning", "Filter", "Cops And Drugs", "Culture As Given", "Delawhere, "Fire Escapes", "Southpaw", "Point Break".

This Sinking Ship: "What Seperates Us All", "The Patty Hearst Syndrome", "Melatonin", "This Sinking Ship", "Little Bohemia", "I'll Be Gone", "Shine".

I love this band, and their new album is phenomenal. Score's for Smoke Or Fire.

Anonymous (April 20, 2007)

thats a weak ass review of smoke or fire's set.

sickboi (April 20, 2007)

Was Phil there?

Anonymous (April 20, 2007)

can someone post an actual set list from smoke or fire on this tour

SloaneDaley (April 20, 2007)

derp. *vet and band

SloaneDaley (April 20, 2007)

saw this in Toronto and this lineup was great because I love Fifth Hour Hero even if their set wasn't the best I've seen from them, Tim Barry had a rad set and he has the confident stage banter of a vat and Smoke or Fire has perhaps the most heart out of any abnd I've seen live and you can hear it in the songs. Nice review.

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