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In The News Review 'Man Vs. Monster'

'A frenetic and buzz-paced collection'

In a nutshell…

Yet more alt-punk

What's it all about?

'Man Vs Monster' is the debut from these Northern Irish punks. A frenetic and buzz-paced collection owing much to the post nu-wave acts of the early 21st century – Hundred Reasons and Biffy Clyro both springing to mind.

The sound is chaotic at times but frequently drifts closer to radio friendly, whilst Cahir O'Doherty's vocals are only two steps away from screamo.

Who's it by

Fighting With Wire have already toured with the numerous bands needed to build their fan-base; gigs with the likes of Biffy Clyro, yourcodenameis:milo, and inME already give a clue to which part of the market they're aim towards.

Having formed in 2003 the band have been through a series of line-up changes before now rooting themselves in the three-some of Cahir O'Doherty (vocals/guitar), Craig McKean (drums/vocals), and Jamie King (bass).

As an example…

"Resist burning bridges you should try to formulate a plan/Small truth in anything you try to say or do please understand." "Everyone Needs A Nemesis"

Likelihood of a trip to the Grammys

Given it's undeniably niche sound any future trips to the mainstream awards ceremonies will be highly unlikely. Instead a trip to the Kerrang! Awards is more likely to be in the pipeline, with a nice tabled reserved somewhere between to Hundred Reasons and Foo Fighters.

What the others say

"The driving, battering-ram charge of 'My Amoury' is a stand-out here, and O'Doherty's impassioned yelping of makes the perfect accompaniment to the ear-piercing chord stabs of his rhythm work." – Rock Sound

"Vicious and stinging in parts, but applied with dexterity and finesse" -Kerrang!


So is it any good?

There's very little new here to make you prick up your ears but what is presented is very well researched and repackaged. The problem is that the record never quite reaches the sum of its parts.

It's said Fighting With Wire take their influences, amongst others, from defunct El Paso punks At The Drive-In, but there's a reason that band split up: you can only take that kind of progressive punk so before you a) have to switch genres or b) start repeating yourself.

There are some decent (stand-out, even) tracks here, "Sugar" has a pleasant change of pace and "The Quiet", while echoing slightly of Freakshow-era Silverchair, does enough to show a real ownership by the band.

Sadly though, both My Armory and Cut In Transmission are nothing forward of the heavier tunes At The Drive-In were playing back in 2000, while Long Distance is more Foo than Wire Fighters.

Altogether, this is no bad effort; instead it shows the promise of a band who will hopefully hone their sound over the next album or two.

6/10

- Mat Strowbridge, In The News