Fire in the Radio – ‘Monuments’ album review

Fire in the Radio Monuments album review 2020 Wednesday Records

Inspired by a diverse array of bands including Bob Mould, Jawbreaker and R.E.M. and recorded with Jesse Gander (Japandroids, White Lung), Philadelphia punks Fire in the Radio are all set to unleash new album ‘Monuments’.

Opening with the conveniently titled ‘Let’s Get to the Start’, the album opens with a burst of synth-enhanced power pop that also flits between New Wave and the honest rock and roll sound that served The Gaslight Anthem so well. ‘Gravity’ follows this with its bursts of energetic drumming being interrupted by vibrant guitar hooks and poetic lyrics about a ghost in the hallway that helps to keep you going even when things are spiralling downwards: ‘Gravity has always pulled me down’. The band talk about moving onto a new chapter in their lives on the Beach Slang-esque ‘Rewind’ (‘the needle drives doan your skin tonight. I’m chasing every line’) while ‘I Said’ has the kind of driving sound that instantly makes you want to jump around – although laced with sadness in its themes: ‘I said let me know if you think this is enough. I said everything doesn’t always have to go’.

The guitars are turned up on ‘Ex-SF’ as the band scream ‘I’m hanging out with the devil you know’ while ‘This is My Document’ (could that be a nod to the R.E.M. album of the same name?) fully immerses itself in the intelligent emo that serves Into It. Over It. so well: ‘I know I am to blame for all these late confessions’. Appropriately enough, ‘Sing Sang Sung’ has a sing-along quality akin to Alkaline Trio (and a touch of glockenspiel to boot) as Fire in the Radio ask ‘Will you miss me when I’m gone?’ while the closing ‘Save Me’ is all about having a desire to do something different with your life: ‘Every night I’m dreaming of somebody else. I don’t wanna be left alone’. Howeverm the jangly indie-pop guitars shine through this darkness.

With no song on the album reachibg the 4-minute mark and melodies you’ll be singing to yourself for days, ‘Monuments’ is an album packed with urgency and fiery passion.

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