Fireworks
All I Have To Offer Is My Own Confusion


3.5
great

Review

by Alex Silveri EMERITUS
March 31st, 2009 | 43 replies


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A perfect slice of a pop-punk summer.

Back in 2006 a little pop-punk from Detroit released a six song EP that pretty much was, for all intents and purposes, the best slice of the genre ever served in a long, long time. I mean, the best. The We Are Everywhere EP distilled everything that was awesome about pop punk and turned it into a syrupy love became the equivalent of my crack cocaine. Turns out, I wasn’t the only one. While the kids over at AbsolutePunk were wetting themselves in anticipation of a new album (I was one of them), in the wings, Paramore’s Hayley Williams has had nothing but praise for the band, which probably also had something to do with the fact that man-friend Chad Gilbert of New Found Glory has been at the helm of the producing decks. Expectations abound with the release of Confusion, Fireworks perhaps don’t quite reach the lofty heights of their EP, but compared to the genre’s miserable offering in 2008, Fireworks are, in a certain sense, a breath of fresh, life-affirming air. Granted, the band are far from pushing the boundaries of the genre and sit firmly, Buddha style, smack bang in the middle of a circle a bands occupied by All Time Low, Hit The Lights and Four Year Strong, but damn are they good at what they do.

And like all pop-punk, there’s little question of where the focus lies here: Hooks! Hooks! Hooks! In fact, Confusion is nothing if not a revolving door of furiously fun riffs, catchy guitar lines and chanted gang vocals. Yet not all is as it seems - what really separates Fireworks from becoming a run of the mill band is their sheer playfulness when it comes to songwriting – the band’s twin guitarists twist and turn around each other in teasing abandon, lines peeking themselves over the music only to submerge again under a white wash of songs that evolve quickly in their usual 2-3 minute performance space. While not all hooks sink deep, those that do, such as the bouncing rock of “2923 Monroe St” and the humongous chorus of “Detroit” are rollicking examples of why Confusion, at its best, can make you just throw your arms up and smile at life. Even where it allows itself respite, such as the twinkling, semi-emotional back end of “Geography, Vonnegut and Me”, it’s a moment that’s still steeped in the band’s positive energy, a hopeful nostalgia that the band adheres to so brilliantly.

Put it this way – there are probably few bands out there that could take lyrics like “I still take bad advice from my best friends/ I’ll ride on this sinking ship/I’ll go to the bottom with them… I’ll go to the bottom with you” and set it to the tune of jumpy, rollicking melodies and “woooaaahss” and “bap bap baps” to make it sound as though they’d come right out of a three hour punk rock set of explosive, basement show excitement. But Fireworks can. There’s a certain nostalgia here, sure, but it doesn’t saturate the album in a negative way, but instead is sprinkled on like a fine peppering of glitter. While it’d be nice if Fireworks allowed themselves a bigger bag of tricks than those on display here, if you’re willing to invest in this, I mean, really invest in it, Confusion may just be that summer album you’ll look back on and say ‘hey, now that… that was a good time’ with a tinge of heartfelt warmth and memory. It’s the sound of a band who’ve known from day one exactly what they’ve wanted to do, even through to the release of the aptly titled Adventure, Nostalgia, and Robbery EP last year.

So no, while Confusion is far from the second coming of the genre, and while it’s sometimes easy to get lost among the rolling lines of fun, it’s best just to let go and just let it happen. If this is all they’ve got to offer, I’ll take it with no reservations.

3.7/5



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user ratings (194)
Chart.
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Athom
Staff Reviewer
March 31st 2009


17231 Comments


getting now. I have Adventure... and like it.

StreetlightRock
Emeritus
March 31st 2009


3781 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

And when you're done get We Are Everywhere. It is by far the best thing these guys have ever done.

flamethisuser
March 31st 2009


395 Comments


you missed a few words in your first few sentences, they come off as awkward. otherwise good review.

Athom
Staff Reviewer
March 31st 2009


17231 Comments


will do.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
March 31st 2009


20858 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Another good review Alex. And another band you've reviewed which I must check out. Why? Because they're in Chan's favorite genre; POP-PUNK!

artofpretension
March 31st 2009


49 Comments


did you seriously just name drop hayley williams?

StreetlightRock
Emeritus
April 1st 2009


3781 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

did you seriously just name drop hayley williams?


Nah man, I unseriously name droped Hayley Williams.


5am
April 1st 2009


51 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

haha i had a class with one of these guys, its crazy to see a review of them pop up on here.

Awesome people, awesome band.

definitely check out we are everywhere if you like this at all, This Message Edited On 04.01.09

xequalscore
April 1st 2009


437 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I hope I can find this. The old stuff was super catchy and good. Reminds me of The Wonder Years. Oh, and Pop-punk.

IRAI
April 4th 2009


1567 Comments


another great band in the michigan hardcore/punk "scene".

Look out for other Michigan bands around them. There's some great stuff that's popped up out of the mitten in the last few years. Especially in the Grand Rapids, and Traverse City areas.
Great bands rising, and great "scenes" reviving.

GOOD hardcore/punk, REAL hardcore/punk, is making a comeback there.

StreetlightRock
Emeritus
April 4th 2009


3781 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Care to namedrop?

Athom
Staff Reviewer
April 11th 2009


17231 Comments


this shit is infectious

Lucid
Contributing Reviewer
April 11th 2009


7025 Comments


srsly, loving this

StreetlightRock
Emeritus
April 11th 2009


3781 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Hah, yea I sorta realised I was a bit too harsh on this because I keep comparing it in my head to We Are Everywhere, but this is a fantastic album in its own right.

Ciattk
April 19th 2009


6 Comments


This new coming of pop-punk (Fireworks, The Wonder Years, Man Overboard, I Call Fives, Four Year Strong, etc. (If you don't know any of these, look em up)) is fuck of a lot better; it actually takes talent to write these songs and it's not all just power chords like we're used to from Blink and Green Day.

YouAreMySilence
May 6th 2009


3727 Comments


This new coming of pop-punk... Man Overboard
it actually takes talent to write these songs and it's not all just power chords like we're used to from Blink


Haaa! Blink is great.
Need to listen to this.

slymer
June 16th 2009


1 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is a really good pop-punk album. I'm definitely going to check out the EP.

Blimps
July 13th 2009


57 Comments


Sounds great; interesting cover art always catches my eye when checking out a band too. I don't know why.

cvlts
July 13th 2009


8985 Comments


just started listening to these guys cause im seein them with four year strong and set your goals

i likeyyy!

SeaAnemone
September 18th 2009


20970 Comments


I feel a little guilty liking this so much... oh well.

Digging: Viet Cong - Viet Cong



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