FWWs' 'Man Vs Monster' Set To Be A Hit?
Fighting With Wire are a throwback post-hardcore trio from Northern Ireland. Their debut 'Man vs. Monster' was unleashed on the UK last year and is set to be released this summer in the U.S. via Photo Finish.
How Is It?
Photo Finish's releases tend to be either hit (Paper Rival's Dialog) or miss (3Oh!3's Want) and Man vs. Monster falls squarely in the "hit" category - it's a bona fide home run. The record is an absolute adrenaline rush and should provide quite a thrill for anyone wondering why no one makes music like Rival Schools or Girls Against Boys anymore. Joining the ranks of Gallows and Johnny Foreigner on the list of my favorite bands to come out of the British Isles in recent years, Fighting With Wire are poised to make a huge splash with their aggressive but relentlessly propulsive brand of rock, filling a long-empty void in the musical landscape.
Don't take my word for it, though. Check out "My Armoury" a clear example of the band's unquestionable skill at incorporating elements from the '90s underground they were clearly influenced by, like the jagged Jawbox-y guitar work, with more conventional riffs, into an overall sound that pays tribute to the past, while maintaining a modern rock feel that should be widely enjoyable. On "Everyone Needs a Nemesis," vocalist Cahir O'Doherty sounds very much like Dave Grohl, a comparison that can be readily made at many points on the album. To perpetuate that analogy, the song itself and much of the band's work sounds like what Foo Fighters would sound like if they rocked just a little harder and displayed a bit more post-hardcore influence.
Perhaps most notable about 'Man vs. Monster' is Fighting With Wire's ability to channel such driving energy on straightforward rockers like "Long Distance" and "All for Nothing" as to make them instantly compelling and demanding of repeated listens. Further, the songs that stray from the straight-and-narrow, like "Cut the Transmission," which is heavy with guitar squall and features O'Doherty delivering a particularly aggressive vocal performance, and "Sugar" which has an elastic bass line and understated guitars similar to Burning Airlines, nonetheless furnish unfalteringly catchy choruses. This is the type of record that invariably gets lodged in my car's stereo during the warmer months, with the searing guitars and impassioned performances sure to enhance any already good mood. The fact that it's occasionally reminiscent of my favorite bands of the past is a sweet added bonus.
The most obvious comparison for me to make with this album is definitely to Rival Schools' 'United by Fate', as Fighting With Wire have likewise injected a little punk-rock ethos into otherwise marketable songs, in the process creating a mightily impressive record. Whether you check out this album because you're looking for a replay of the sounds of the glory days and merely sticking around for the scorching modern rock hooks, or vice versa, Man vs. Monster is sure to entertain. With the right exposure, big things could be on the horizon for this band. Hop on the bandwagon now, before they're everyone else's new favorite band, too.
- Jeremy Aaron, absolutepunk.net
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