Fire In The Radio – ‘Monuments’ (03/04/20)

Fire In The Radio – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

Fire In The Radio
Cover Photo: Jessica Flynn – Album Art/Photo: Richard Carbone

Fire In The Radio and their forthcoming Monuments are together a band name and an album title that you may want to note down. Why? Because the band’s last release, New Air, supplemented an already healthy Philadelphia music scene and its own predecessor, Telemetry, was itself a skillful glide through Alt. Rock, Indie and melodic Punk.

However, that was 2017 and further back in 2015 respectively. Wednesday Records will be scooping up the band once again for release number three, a release with the task to live up to the effortless New Air. If you’re already listening to fellow Philadelphia-natives The Menzingers, Modern Baseball, Restorations and Beach Slang then you may want to trickle through the band’s previous work and then meet me here for Monuments. Why not eh? 

Punk-Rock is the stylistic catalyst behind a host of musical styles and also the genre Fire In The Radio’s concoctive sound is based around. Yet, it would be nothing without the unashamed writing of Pop-songs so crucially a part of the modern Rock mix that is ‘Let’s Get To The Start’. 

The opening single’s back-to-basics approach is expectedly playful in the manner of Indie-Rock. Fire In The Radio are still grounded in the manner of Punk-Rooted Alternative Rock however and pair this with soaring shoegaze melody. The latter permeates ‘Gravity’. The second track is subtle about it but is contrastingly heavier. The band remain approachable, yet gradually layer this subtle heaviness into normality guided by the aforementioned melody. ‘Tulare’ opts for Alt. Rock-weighted Indie-Punk and is the product of seamless ease.

Fire In The Radio
Photo: Jessica Flynn

‘Tulare’ and its tactical placement in the running order leads into ‘Rewind’. This is where the heavier Punk and Alt. Rock facets of Fire In The Radio come to fruition. It is this gradual rise in intensity that makes ‘Rewind’ and maintains a strong flow into the middle of the record. ‘I Said’ tenaciously pushes this harder agenda yet juxtaposes it with more soaring melody. The track is as much of a testament the band’s Punk influences as it is the genres own ubiquitousness.

‘Ex SF’ is one for the Hot Water Music fans, specifically those who enjoy Chris Wollard’s melodic tones. Fire In The Radio are juxtaposing their own genealogy in controlled bursts. ‘Ex SF’ is all about the lurking devil, one that, more often than not, you know all too well. You’ll get them eventually.

The faster tempos are discarded in track seven. ‘This Is My Document’ slows down proceedings quite contrastingly and yet still hold its own. ‘This Is My Document’ serves as the token “ballad-track” of an Alt. Rock release and its only crime is a lacking tempo. Interestingly, it’s as if the band predicted such a remark and remedied it prior to its existence with ‘Sunday Cassock’.

Again, there is nothing wrong with ‘This Is My Document’ but ‘Sunday Cassock’ dons its traditional clerical garb and is back in the pace game. The faster ‘Sunday Cassock’ is infectious in its choppy Punk, yet layered towards an Indie-Rock edge.

“Grunge” is a word used regularly by those describing FITR. The seminal stylistic has been heard sparingly yet still crucially on this release. The verses of ‘Breaking’ elude to such in a darker sound suiting to the four-piece. That said, either fortunately or unfortunately depending on taste, it relents in favour of another soaring chorus.

Fire In The Radio
Photo: Jessica Flynn

Monuments is both a refinement of New Air yet is also a testament to the sound of Telemetry. The third release is a tough one, especially if the two prior are as strong as the above. Monuments is one for the fans as much as it is for the band’s own piece of mind. This latest album is, again, a testament to the youthful exuberance of Punk music and its legacy on the whole and for the band themselves. ‘Sing Sang Sung’ is another in the immersive arsenal of Fire In The Radio.

‘Save Me’ is very much what you’d expect. The track is a heartfelt cry for a little company over the less preferred battling of internal thoughts. – ‘Save me now, save me from the demons I once called home, I don’t want to be left alone, left alone […]’.

‘Save Me’ closes in a manner that forces me to once again use the word immersive, followed by stating that Monuments is not only another seamlessly brilliant effort by Fire in The Radio but also a staple release within contemporary Alternative Rock.

03/04/20 is the day via Wednesday Records. Pre-orders are now live via the band and Wednesday Records. You can find all you need below.


Founder of Ear Nutrition, Matt is sadly over 30 and first cut his words writing for the now defunct site, Musically Fresh. He enjoys a variety of guitar-driven music but can usually be found navigating a web of Skate Punk, Hardcore and everything in between.