Review: Fireworks – Bonfires EP

Artist: Fireworks
Album: Bonfires EP
Genre: Pop Punk
Label: Run For Cover

While some may look at EPs as an excuse to not record a complete full length, others see them for their true value. Sure it would be great to get ten new songs from your favorite band, but wouldn’t it be better to have only a few news songs if you could guarantee each one would be great? This is how I’ve come to look at the latest release from Michigan’s Fireworks. The Bonfires EP, which hit digital outlets this week, features four songs from the group that are sure to more than satisfy your pop punk pallets for the coming winter months.

When we last left Fireworks, they had finally reached the national spotlight and just released their debut album, All I Have To Offer Is My Own Confusion. Addressing everything from homophobia, to suicide, to growing up and moving on, the release quickly topped “best of” lists from here to Absolutepunk and back. Personally, I viewed Confusion as a near perfect album combining just enough fun and heart with serious discussion. Vocalist David Mackinder’s way with words tapped on the very root of human experience while the other members’ musical contributions kept you dancing and tapping your toes for weeks after each listen. It was the kind of release that reignites the underground scene, but at the same time sets= the bar for future work extremely high.

Enter the Bonfires EP. After over a year on the road (almost nonstop), Fireworks have finally given fans their first taste of new material since March 2009 and in doing so showcase that while they’ve grown, they’re still the same great band. “I Grew Up In A Legion Hall” kicks things off with Fireworks’ signature anthemic pop punk sound and a hook that simply can’t be denied. It’s obvious from the title that those heavily involved in this subgenre of music will take a lot away from the track, but what I’ve always considered Fireworks’ selling point is the fact you don’t have to know anything about the band or where they come from to relate to them. They get what it’s like to grow up in the digital age, flooded by technology and fleeting relationships, and put their experiences to paper for all of us to hear. This couldn’t be more evident than on the one-two punch that is “Five Years” and the EP’s standout track, “Like Sinking Ships.” Taking a step back from the punk world momentarily, “Five Years” gives us a glimpse at the more relaxed, Western inspired side of the band before going straight for the pit (and your heart) on the upbeat, “Like Ships In The Night.” Filled with lines like, “If I could write a letter to the person I once was, return address would be “I Miss You, but I don’t want to know you anymore,” it’s clear that the band is holding nothing back and it’s that same raw honesty that carries through to the EP’s closer, “Seasick.”

At the end of the day, whether or not you like Fireworks’ Bonfires EP will be largely dependent on how you feel about the group as a whole. While there is a lot of evolution on the record, it’s still heavily rooted in the same sound listeners fell for on the group’s debut. That said, as a fan of Fireworks for many years, I have no second thoughts in proclaiming this to be their strongest showing to date. The songwriting has never been tight as it is here and Mackinder’s lyrics take it all to a new level. If you want to give someone a real gift this Christmas, skip the gadgets and pick up Firework’s Bonfires EP. It won’t check your email, but it just might become your favorite EP of the year.

Score: 9.5/10
Review written by: James Shotwell

James Shotwell
Latest posts by James Shotwell (see all)
Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed.