Just A Fire - Light Up (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Just A Fire

Just A Fire: Light Up

Light Up (2003)

Asian Man


3.5
Every review you will read of Just A Fire's debut CD will contain the following information [lovingly stolen from Interpunk and THICK Records]: "[Just A Fire's] line up consists of Fred Erskine (June of 44/Hoover/Him) on bass and vocals, Chris Daly (Sweep The Leg Johnny/Check Engine/Haymarket Rio...

Every review you will read of Just A Fire's debut CD will contain the following information [lovingly stolen from Interpunk and THICK Records]:

"[Just A Fire's] line up consists of Fred Erskine (June of 44/Hoover/Him) on bass and vocals, Chris Daly (Sweep The Leg Johnny/Check Engine/Haymarket Riot) on guitar and Scott Adams (Abeline/Chisel Drill hammer) on the drums."
That's a lot of history for one band, at least in the midwest. It's also a bit of pressure, and I'm sure more than one person has some unfair expectations for Just A Fire to live up to their former band's legacies. Here's the thing, though - this band is way better than a lot of their history.

Just A Fire is a chaotic mishmash of punk, dub, and post-hardcore tendencies all beating the shit out of each other for 9 tracks in a row. Think of a crazier June of 44, but a not nearly-as-sloppy Sweep The Leg Johnny. The band makes use of a saxophone and a trumpet on a few songs, but it fits in with the groove, as evidenced in "Gradubation." Erskine's vocals tend to slightly mimic those of Hot Hot Heat's Steve Bays, as does the entire band's musical style, just much more reggae-dub influenced [and minus the obvious Cure influence in HHH]. The music on here is rough, tight, and almost unwilling to give up it's melody to you - just the way Kobe Bryant likes it.

What it boils down to is that this is a really fun CD. It's not going to blow you away, perhaps, but it will expand your mind - possibly with the help of certain mind-expanding drugs [not included]. It's a bit of a leap for Asian Man, and I commend them for it.

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