Fresh Beats with Brody: Fireworks, “Oh, Common Life”

Youth's misconceived passion bleeds through on Detroit outfit's newest endeavor

Image Courtesy of Triple Crown Records

At risk of overstatement, Fireworks are one of the most stellar, outstanding pop punk bands to have emerged over the past few years. In a genre which seems to be repeating itself with every release, there’s something different about these kids from Detroit – They’ve come nowhere close to dominating the scene, but instead have distinguished themselves strikingly apart from their counterparts (part of it may be their absolutely killer album artworks). Their previous, superb full length Gospel took fans and listeners away in 2011; that monster with it’s hands on a child’s shoulders becoming instantaneously recognizable among those deep into the alternative, pop punk following. Subsequent to this ear catching record comes Oh, Common Life, an album perpetuating Fireworks’ reign of emotional resonance.

Oh, Common Life brings Fireworks’ signature aesthetic to the forefront of growing up; taking on familiar themes while wearing new, shadowy twists in songwriting and sound. Enthralling from beginning to end, this record wields traditional power chord driven rock along with a flourishing new script of twists and turns not seen on Gospel. These songs are bloomingly paced and built, each chasing the band’s gloomy yet tender, hopeful character. “The Back Window’s Down” longs for a step back into the past through a graceful, sentimental chorus and hushed tongue. “Our legs won’t grow until we step into the unknown,” insightfully murmurs vocalist David Mackinder in the bridge. “Woods” explores the transition between quirky riffs and words preaching disconnection – Lit by melancholy glockenspiel. “The Only Thing That Haunts This House Is Me” carries a sad, disillusioned undertone and a continental pleasure of a lead guitar, while “The Sound Of Young America” reigns as Oh, Common Life’s flag stained anthem geared towards the current emotional state of our youth. “The summer’s been sick and dry/The same as the sleep in my eyes,” coos the heart of the second verse. “The Hotbead Of Life” reflects upon the ground covered by “The Sound Of Young America” and concludes the record on a dazzling, enthusiastic note which reflects upon the formerly turbulent teenage mind we all have, or will someday, come to terms with.

Oh, Common Life has very few lapses – It’s commentary biting the tongue of growing pains and offering sincere emotional expression. Bounding the misconceived passion of youth and wise insight on moving past any number of angsts, Fireworks have once again illustrated themselves as a band capable of grand capacity.

Be sure to check out Oh, Common Life when it releases on March 25. Until then, stream it over at Alternative Press!

4.5/5

Be sure to listen to: “The Sound Of Young America” and “Flies On Tape”

Triple Crown Records