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Music Towers Review 'Man Vs. Monster'

'With riffs as sawdust rough as anything else from the alt-rock stable on this side of the Atlantic in the last five years'

Rock tribalism is a dangerous thing, especially for bands skirting the edges of easily compartmentalised genre-rock. If you set your amps go up to 11 and play with riffs just that little bit aggressive, you’ll find yourself carted off to Kerrang!-Land, with a audience of kids with too much eyeliner and too many post-hardcore records. Shy away from your AC/DC dreams, and you’ll just be another also-ran for the NME to fire off a one-page new bands feature before conveniently being forgotten about faster than you can say “nu rave”. Heaven forbid you try to find some middle ground – there lies the fate of Feeder, rock band of choice for people who don’t like rock.

 

Luckily for Derry’s Fighting With Wire, this quandary is null and void. The only criteria for songs on this, their debut album, being to “rock out like a motherbitch” - which they do from the off with "Cut The Transmission". It feels as polished as something like Lost Prophets, but never feels like it has the icy-cold commercial conceit that drips off the Welsh emo-rock creatures. They share more with Funeral For A Friend, and Biffy Clyro, in this regard – understanding that big chugging bastard guitars can sound even better when they are amplified by some pop-hook vocals.

 

That’s because vocalist, Cahir O'Doherty doesn’t seem ashamed that he can sing a melody and still release an almighty nasal grunge growl in the space of the same song, such shown as in the wonderfully beefy "Make A Fist" and as-metal-as-you-like "The Quiet". With riffs as sawdust rough as anything else from the alt-rock stable on this side of the Atlantic in the last five years, fans of the aforementioned Funeral For A Friend could do a lot worse than picking up a copy of ‘Man Vs Monster’ while waiting for new material from the Welshmen.

- Hugh Platt, Music Towers