Static Fires – “Thirteen” (www.facebook.com/StaticFires/)
Right now, it all seems to be happening in Wales if you’re into alt / indie rock bands, what with Catfish And The Bottlemen causing in stir up north along with English bands like Darlia also in the region. But down in Swansea, it’s Static Fires that everyone’s talking about. Having already released an EP a coupla years back, the band having been touring heavily since then, honing their skills and maturing which is undoubtedly what makes this debut so impressive. Citing alt legends like Foo Fighters and Kings Of Leon along with grungers Alice In Chains as somewhat obvious influences especially in the latter half of “Thirteen”, the initial tracks like , ‘Return’ and ‘Like The Sun’ are what got me really excited. With tight performances honed right from school days when the band was formed, Static Fires composing is equally solid, with deep catchy riffs, gutsy melody and just the right amount of melancholia sometimes dropped in to tip the scales emotionally. Sam Randles vocals draw you in repeatedly and keep you there while his rhythm guitar along with his lead buddy in Jack Clements lay out the cool grooves on ‘Black Velvet’, not forgetting Thomas Gibbins prominent bass lines. Getting more charged up on ‘Return’ with a rawer sound, the contrast couldn’t be greater with its powerful, and needless to say catchy harmonies that just barrels and hooks you in as the song builds to an aggressive climax. The opposite couldn’t be any truer on ‘Like The Sun’ with its laid back drawl and casually strummed guitars, yet no less powerful in its appeal and once again, a captivating listen on you as the warm melodies and multiple vocal harmonies radiate into your soul creating in a highly moving experience. A very enjoyable listen indeed, “Thirteen” achieves what it sets out to do no truer than from the words of Static Fires themselves: ‘….we’re not trying to reinvent the wheel, we just want to create the best wheel that we possibly can…’.