Rockfight - Ready, Fire, Aim (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Ready, Fire, Aim (2009)


Rockfight sound almost like a speedier, more hardcore/punk version of the earlier Death by Stereo material on their Ready, Fire, Aim full-length, much thanks to the slightly nasal timbre of vocalist John Collins resembling Efrem Schulz a bit. It's okay stuff, but it never really gets that exciting, you know?

The repetitive "Crackerjack!" shout towards the end of the album's first proper track (intro "3 to 1" is a weirdly curt and ineffectual intro) of the same name gets unfortunately stale rather quickly, while the brief percussive changes punctuating the shouted gang vocal choral hooks in "Trouble" just seem predictable. There's some cool, somewhat more technical-sounding riffs à la Strung Out in this song, too, but as a whole it just sounds pretty run-of-the-mill.

This is pretty much how Ready, Fire, Aim goes. It sounds like the band means well and had a fair amount of fun recording this, but the end result isn't particularly enjoyable or fresh in any real way. "Sideview" is an almost darker Token Entry-esque melodic hardcore punk romp, though it doesn't shape that style into an effective, sharp blast like Kid Dynamite's "Pits & Poisoned Apples" did. The record seems marginally more interesting in its third quarter with energetic cuts like the title track and "Nothing from Nothing," but as it legs out towards its 16th (!) track, things just really start to drag and seem like the "new idea cupboard" is raided and bare. And then "Stake," the last track, just ends, with virtually no warning and in utterly anti-climactic fashion.

Ready, Fire, Aim's title implies there's a consequence in acting too quickly during the means of an important act, and that's more or less what's happened with this very album. This is a fast, straightforward hardcore punk-influenced affair, but too much so for its own good, never stopping to reflect and integrate something, anything, that would make it any more compelling.

From the Ground Up