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BBC Across The Line Feature On FWW

'Surprise is something that Fighting With Wire and their listeners will just have to get used to.'

If you were making a list of the lucky connections in Ulster rock, who would you include? You'd perhaps remember the Undertones, fluking their guitar sound on "Teenage Kicks". You might mention the appearance of Jimmy Page on the early Them sessions and maybe the day that Lesley Silverfish was handed the first Therapy? single.

The latest example of good fortune is the online connection that delivered Fighting With Wire into the arms of the giant Atlantic label. The song that lured them was "Everyone Needs A Nemesis", a mixture of resolution, noise and panic. The tune stays intact, the chorus lines heave in all the correct places and transatlantic action is happy ensured.

But that doesn't mean that FWW got away easily. Their chronicle covers the tragedy of Clearshot, the application of Jetplane Landing and the intensity of this debut album. So many other people have a stake in the story. FWW are graduates of the Nerve Centre in Derry and the first concerted success of the Manor Park Studios, where quality rock music is routinely forged. And it's a testament to Andrew Ferris and the Smalltown America label that's also encouraged this bold outburst.

Mostly it rocks in a severe and jagged fashion. On the track "Sugar" we might assume that Cahir is name-checking Bob Mould with his combination of anthemic tunes and guitar riffola. That's relatively tame compared to "My Armoury" which ruminates like a suicide bomber. Or the opener, "Cut The Transmission", which jams all the frequencies and tries not to think about the doomed love story.

We never doubted their ability to sustain the volume. Where this record surprises is in the delicate interludes, the Grohl-like melodies and the pure heart of "Strength In Numbers" a word to a departed friend.

Surprise is something that Fighting With Wire and their listeners will just have to get used to.

- Stuart Bailie, BBC NI Across The Line