Fire in the Radio - New Air

by Jim Harris Rating:7 Release Date:2017-05-12

Fire in the Radio keep getting compared to (Jawbreaker, Superchunk, Weezer) I’ve never really cared for through a whole album, and the bands they sound like to me (Alkaline Trio, a little Gaslight Anthem, another Philly band, Beach Slang) go in different directions really, but there is something interesting going on with this sophomore release, New Air.

Not to mention the fact that their band name is from an excellent Charles Bukowski poem.

Fire in the Radio is from that poppy garage basement city called Philadelphia and like my favorite band from the area, Beach Slang, they kick it up nicely.  Most bands from this East Coast city, like their neighbors in New Jersey, dig that Bon Jovi, Bruce Springsteen anthemic vibe they think they need to get chicks, and if they don't drift into ridiculous areas like the Gaslight Anthem often do, they tend to do it right.

Fire in the Radio do it right for the most part.

While there isn’t much originality in this sort of 90s pop punk, Fire in the Radio occasionally reach some pretty high points.  The title track, ‘New Air’ is a favorite and they reach their highest most creative point on the more varied and interesting closing track, ‘Holy Shit’.

Where they stumble for me is when they conjure up those whiney punk boy choruses from the 90s as with the tracks ‘Drug Life’ and ‘I don’t know, I remember’.  (It reminds me of why I had trouble with this genre way back in the 90s.)

Fire in the Radio, I am sure, with those heavy velocity guitars and punky enthusiasm put on a pretty good show, but this effort could use a little less derivative progressions and a few more tracks that mix it up like ‘Holy Shit’ does.  Throw in an acoustic piece now and then.  But if Jawbreaker and Superchunk and the tad bit more modern Alkaline Trio is on your list, Fire in the Radio, might just hit it for you.

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