Firestarter - Forget the Past
Release Date: May 13, 2014
Record Label: Unsigned
Firestarter’s a pop-punk band. This means they’ve got a slightly-above average vocalist, lyrics like “You’re trying to burn every bridge left in this goddamn city,” and a lot of power chords. It doesn’t make them bad, it just doesn’t mean they stand out too much. I mean, Forget the Past is a damn catchy EP; every track’s got a hook or a riff that’ll lodge itself in your head for days.
But how far can a band go on hooks alone? Firestarter’s problem is that they lack originality. The first four tracks could all be the same song with a different intro. Track five “Woodlawn” is probably the best on the album, because it showcases the most diversity. It’s just vocals and guitars the whole time – there’s no hook to serve as a crutch, there’re no affected vocal stylings. It’s just a simple, slow song and it works perfectly. Closer “Lost & Found” is a good track, too, in that it sounds different from the others, slower and with more technical guitarwork. But then the gang vocal outro comes in, and the album ends leaves you with that.
Forget the Past is good for die-hard fans of the genre, since Fiestarter deliver exactly what you’d expect. Admittedly, they probably do it better than you’d expect, but it’s still nothing you haven’t heard before. If Firestarter wants to be really noticed and praised in the genre, they’re going to need to differentiate themselves from the hundreds of other up-and-coming, unsigned pop-punk bands around.