Philadelphia punk crew Fire in the Radio have just released their third album, Monuments. If you want to find out more about the band, check out their social media pages, but don’t type their name into Google like I did while looking up the band’s history. Because you will get them confused with local southeast Dorset radio station Fire Radio and be sat there, confused as to why their UK tour is only going to Christchurch and Poole.
Straight off the bat, opening track ‘Let’s Get to the Start’ provides you with everything you need to know about the album you’re about to listen to. With a tempo somewhere between Allegro and Vivace, there is a quick build-up with a robust and flowing rhythm as the track comes together. The arrangement blends together giving the whole song a warm and fresh feeling to it. There is something of an 80s/90s vibe to it as it comes together. You can’t really describe it any more than that, but when you listen to it, you’ll understand.
Then ‘Gravity’ starts, and we get the same.
And on ‘Tulare’.
Beginning to see a pattern here.
Well, no – that’s unfair of me. Tulare has a different arrangement pattern and is a slightly slower track compared to the others. But the whole of Monuments does come dangerously close to one-big-track syndrome when the music doesn’t change enough to sound unique on each track, so it feels like the whole thing is just an entry into for longest track into the Guinness World Records.
But while it gets close, it doesn’t end up falling into the trap. There is enough of a change between tracks to make it stand out while each of them has a rich sound – bouncy and, well, fun. It’s a summer punk album. An album you play during the summer when you want to listen to a punk band.
The oddest thing about Monuments is, for me, the stand out track, ‘Sing, Sang, Sung’ which has something to it I can’t put my finger on. Maybe it’s the energy. In an album bursting with life, there is a crackling power to it, one that flits while you try to grab it.