Fighting With Wire - Colonel Blood
Record Label: Xtra Mile Recordings
Release Date: September 25, 2012
It seriously upset me when I heard about Foo Fighters going on hiatus. Well, it's not a hiatus, so to speak, just time off for the band to do other things. And by the band, of course, I mean Dave Grohl. He specifically said it's not a hiatus, just a time where they won't be playing shows for a while. It doesn't really matter what fancy way Dave decides to sugar coat it, one of the only great alternative rock bands (and God knows the only good one on the radio) isn't going to be making music for us for quite a while. It's quite a sad story, really, but I did find something that just might hold over all the big Foo Fighters fans like myself. During my endless search for music, I came across the band's Irish counterparts, Fighting With Wire. There's a clear moment in time where the Foo Fighters departed from a heavier rock sound most notably heard on their 1997 release The Colour and the Shape, and they took a slight shift into more radio friendly tunes. Fighting With Wire manages to continue on the path of The Colour and the Shape, bringing back the more grungy, hard rock edge the Foo Fighters had moved on from.
Releasing their second full length album Colonel Blood in September, Fighting With Wire has made a serious effort to make it known to the world that they mean business. Honestly, my first impression of this album was so good, it made me shocked to find out that they've been around for almost ten years and are just now getting heard here. Well, by me at least. Either way, this band knows how to make a strong impact, which is made clear right from the start with their opener "Waiting on a Way to Believe." I don't think anyone could listen to that chorus and not have it stuck in their head for days afterwards. There's also "Erase You," which has definitely potential to be a mainstream hit with it's addicting vocals and classic alternative feel.
But it's not just the catchy vocal hooks that the band uses, they also have a strength in their instrumental attack. Songs like "Dead Memory" show off the aggressive power this band possesses through dissonant riffs and transitions that contrast the strong, yet tame chorus with a soaring vocal melody. There are also songs with a raw, full-force attack on all fronts like "Blackout," which combines choppy and grungy guitar hooks with angry, shouting vocals to replicate intense moments reminiscent of Nirvana.
It's hard to break ground or really make any notable strides in alternative rock music. It's usually impossible to listen to the new bands that emerge constantly and actually hear something refreshing, something that would give the band some hope for sticking around more than a year or two. Fighting With Wire manages to deliver catchy hooks fit for the popular radio stations, but also the in-your-face, edgy guitar that keeps things interesting for everyone else. The band successfully blends the best of one genre into the best of another, and the product works quite well; each side of the band complements the other flawlessly. This isn't necessarily unheard of, but it's a rare enough occurance that they should have no problem making a positive impression on the music world and emerging as something truly great in the United States. But for now, I'm hoping they enjoy success in Ireland. That much I'm sure they've achieved.