Static Fires have a name which seems so familiar that we were sure we had covered them before here but could find no evidence to back up that thought though it still lingers. Similarly their sound has a roar and character which feels like an existing friend but with no definition to exactly why and to be honest neither thing is particularly important anyway as the Welsh outfit has provided one richly enjoyable and enterprising offering in the shape of debut album Thirteen.
Hailing out of Swansea, Static Fires emerged in 2014; formed by old school friends in lead vocalist/guitarist Sam Randles, lead guitarist/vocalist Jack Clements, bassist Tom Gibbins, and drummer/vocalist Jack Piper. Inspired by the likes of Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Foo Fighters, and Kings Of Leon, the foursome create an alternative rock sound which indeed has led to comparisons to those prime influences but as Thirteen shows, it has a certain voice of its very own too.
The album quickly grabbed ears and keen attention with opener Rollercoaster, its opening caress of guitar a calm and suggestive invitation from within which the animated bass of Gibbins strolls bringing equally tenacious riffs and melodies from the guitars. That lining of familiarity to the band’s sound is a quick presence as the song’s swing kicks in but only adds to the enjoyment and rousing prowess of the encounter. Keenly infectious and rhythmically manipulative, the track is a dynamic start to the album, one which is maybe never quite surpassed thereon in but certainly rivalled a fair few times.
New single Black Velvet is one harrying its stature, the track a funk rock infused stroll with muscular linings to its twists and turns. Clements’ vocals, as in the first, impress and entice within an enterprising weave of sound cast over ears. A blues breath adds to its inescapable lure, the song swift and constant magnetism before Hit the Gas revs up and cruises in with thick rhythms and rousing grooves. Within seconds it had us rising to our feet as it proved itself one of those major rivals for best track honours with its virulent adrenaline fuelled, sleekly bodied rock ‘n’ roll.
Return is next, evolving from a mellow almost melancholic suggestion to a raucous blaze though its fire in heart and sound still comes with enterprising restraint while Like the Sun bounces along with a summery air and catchy dynamics. As its predecessor, it is a track which does not quite exploit the hints of lusty adventure it gives but easily gets inspires an appetite for more of the same.
The album’s title track has a steelier edge and tone to its presence, a whiff of early U2 escaping the guitars early on. It too is a song which promises big things especially in its verse and ever sharp hooks but does lose that blade a little once its chorus and roar escapes. Nevertheless, the track is pure magnetism with its devilish imagination
The final pair of Blood Red and Fix Myself complete the highly enjoyable release with their individual romps. The first is a fiery slice of rock ‘n’ roll; a tenacious and ballsy encounter with an emotive flame to its roar which soon established itself as another favourite here. Its successor has its own hearty holler this time aligned to a more ballad bred but lively presence. As all tracks it is a seriously catchy proposition and like the album as a whole one which just grows and impresses more and more by the listen.
Only true uniqueness is lacking from Thirteen yet every minute on offer is fresh and adventurous, maybe more importantly thoroughly enjoyable. It pushes Static Fires towards the biggest national spotlights and you can only sense from their release that they will thrive on the new attention.
Thirteen is available now across most online stores.
Pete RingMaster 12/08/2018
Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright
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