The Fire Next Time - Sound of a Threat (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

The Fire Next Time

Sound of a Threat (2002)

Dim Mak/Code of Ethics

This hardcore band out of Goleta, CA only lasted from 1999-2001. They only had toured the west coast, with bands such as Pretty Girls Make Graves and Planes Mistaken for Stars, and it seems that this CD is everything they wrote in their existence- 8 songs clocking in at 29 minutes of music.

The Fire Next Time plays political hardcore sort of in a Refused vein, with their higher, screech and scream vocals, as opposed to lower grunting vocals of, say, Poison the Well. The music is a decent mix of slower pulsing hardcore songs and up-tempo tunes. As a whole, this disc doesn't do too much for me, but there are a couple stand out tracks. One being the change of pace durge called "Blood in My Eye." It is an instrumental track consisting of only acoustic guitars and stand-up bass, which was played by one of the guitar players. They didn't hire someone to play it, which impresses me in itself, plus the parts don't sound real simple. Another good one is "One Question," with it's tempo changes and screaming duties shared by the two guitarists, is more in the style of the rest of the CD.

Except for the times when they play background music to the political spoken-word samples, this band just stays loud. Not a lot of diversity, which is why "Blood in My Eye" comes such a pleasing sound after the constant barrage of sound in the tracks before. I'm all for the hard stuff, but they could mix it up a little more. Another thing is that the vocals are not too easy to understand, which tends to be the case with hardcore, but when you're trying to convey a message of some sort, I would think they would want us to understand the words. They do include the lyrics in the booklet though, which also has other political quotes strewn about it.

If you really dig political hardcore, you should check out The Fire Next Time, but as far as hardcore bands go, these guys don't really stand out for me. Plus, they are already broken up, so this disc is all you're going to get from them.