Fireworks

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Added by Central Electronic Brain     June 19, 2012    
 
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Plenty to enjoy here in terms of songs and performance.

It’s taken me quite a while to metaphorically put pen to paper for this review because this album has had me a little bemused, not through any lack of interest but because I wasn’t sure how to describe it. Having spent quite a while listening to it I have to caveat the following comments by saying that I actually like a lot of what’s on offer, albeit with some reservations.

The band’s Wikipedia entry suggests their genre is post-hardcore, pop rock and screamo and I concede they do tick each of those boxes at various times, however I’d add boy band to that list. The reason I say that is because vocalist, Kellin Quinn (he also plays keyboards) has a voice that, for the most part, sounds like that of a fourteen-year-old boy who should be rivalling Justin Bieber in the charts which makes things a bit disconcerting as a result.

As I listen to this album I get an eclectic list of comparisons popping into my head, not least Katy Perry, Wheatus, Train, Pink plus any number of boy bands and then bizarrely various exponents of the Death Metal style (I don’t recall band names because that genre leaves me cold). The use of the latter may well hold the band back because they’re not one thing or the other; where they might appeal to a teenage pop rock audience most of the time the growling and screaming could well alienate those potential fans and drive them away.

Fireworks - The Ultimate Magazine For Melodic Rock Music

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On the positive side there are some really decent songs here; all are concise, energetic and catchy. For the most part they have good riffs (or even great ones), strong melodies, big hooks and have been very well crafted with decent, clever lyrics. It’s just that the voice gives them that feeling of being a boy band on speed.

On ‘Who Are You Now?’ Quinn’s voice has a female quality which fits the song very well. It has a nice change of tempo and a very nice chorus. ‘Four Corners and Two Sides’ features growling and screaming so is best avoided, while ‘Tally it Up, Settle the Score’ comes across as being a bit messy and lacking in structure. ‘You’re Nickel Ain’t Worth My Dime’ has a nice chunky riff and penultimate track, ‘All My Heart’ is the album’s power ballad, and a damn fine song it is too. Driven along by a nice acoustic guitar refrain it also features some wonderful harmonies before the big finish where all the other instruments join in rounds it out rather well. The title track reverts to the style of the rest of the album and verve and energy.
There’s plenty to enjoy here in terms of songs and performance but I suggest our readers will want check this album out before spending their hard earned cash.

Gary Marshall

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