Props to Blackstar Foundation for picking out the top new talent, and even better for showcasing them on a handy split release. Worcester, UK’s Fights And Fires formed in 2008 with the intention to to tour as much as possible—and tour they have, already completing an impressive 23 runs with the likes of The Flatliners, Into It. Over It., and We Are The Ocean. Blending hardcore with elements of classic rock, along with solid, honest lyrics, the quartet are proving that the UK music scene is very much alive, and very, very angry. Their EP counterparts Idle Class hail from Munster, Germany, lighting up Europe with their DIY attitude and melodic punk rock. Having toured extensively as well as making tons of festival appearances, the band are set to explode into the big leagues. Sound good? Well these two have teamed up to release a split so fierce it’ll leave your head spinning and your ears craving for more.
First to take the mic is Fights And Fires with Happy, getting the split off to a racing start. Guttural vocals scratch their mark into the clean cut guitars, and gang vocals ensure it’s an anthem to start mosh pits. This sets the bar high for the rest of the EP, but we’re not let down for a second. Maps chills out slightly, starting off with staccato riffs before transforming into a massive, sprawling empire of sound. You can definitely hear influences of the classic rock the band grew up on in the guitar melodies, but it’s the hardcore element in the drum beat and harsh vocals that gives them an edge over the masses.
On to the second half of the split with Idle Class, and Die Trying eases us in a bit more smoothly. Then with a throaty snarl comes vocals comparable to The Wonder Years, and the drawn out riffs keep the song at a perfect driving pace that makes sure it’ll end up on all future road trip mixtapes. What Would Bukowski Do? follows in quick succession, powered by a punchy bassline and quickfire verses. With a tip of the hat to fellow German native Charles Bukowski, you can hear the dirty realism echo in the lyrics, but still there’s very much a feeling of hope, with the chorus, “we talk about how the next year will be so much different from today”. The bridge is the true highlight here, rounding off the song with a stripped down melody, and making it one for the history books.
This EP is a great introduction to two bands that should definitely be on your radar if they aren’t already. It’s a guaranteed wild ride from start to finish, and will get you in the mood to pump your fist, headbang, and break stuff. These guys work hard and play hard, so you’d better listen hard and get on board.
Fights & Fires / Idle Class (Split EP)
Released: 10/10/2014 via Black Star Foundation